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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats CARE aims to help animals

Courtesy Wildcats CARE

Students stand outside the Humane Society Thrift Store. Wildcats CARE volunteers with a variety of organizations throughout the year.

UA is home to many programs that allow students to get involved on and off campus. One example is Wildcats Committed to Animal Rescue and Education (CARE), an assembly of students who strive to assist local animals through volunteering within the community.

According to the Wildcats CARE website, the organization has volunteered at local animal rescues and has worked with countless animals: dogs, cats, reptiles and more.

The organization, founded in September 2014, also focuses on educating the community about the various issues that surround animal rescue.

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Wildcats CARE also holds fundraisers during the semester. The proceedings raised by the fundraisers are then donated to a shelter chosen by the club members.

According to Demetri Vlachos, a junior majoring in veterinary science and the president of Wildcats CARE, the organization has approximately 100 members currently involved.

“We usually attract around 30 members after each semester’s club fair,” Vlachos said. “About half stay committed to the club.”

Vlachos also said the organization volunteered at Hearts That Purr on April 9. Hearts That Purr, a feline rescue organization that provides care for older felines. For more information about Hearts that Purr, visit

The members of Wildcats CARE volunteered with Hearts that Purr by socializing with the cats, cleaning litter boxes and providing other assistance to the Hearts That Purr staff.

Vlachos also said that on Saturday, April 15, Wildcats CARE will take approximately 26 volunteers to local adoption event Adopt Love Adopt Local. This event will be held in the West Hall of the Tucson Expo Center at 3750 E. Irvington Rd., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Wildcats CARE members will help the numerous shelters in attendance throughout the day and also assist in the breakdown process at the end of the day.

Lauren Nakonechny, a junior majoring in math and pre-veterinary and the secretary for Wildcats CARE, said one of her most memorable moments in volunteering is when the organization volunteers and assists the many shelters present at Adopt Love Adopt Local event.

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“It is interesting to play a part behind-the-scenes and help those dogs get adopted,” Nakonechny said.

Nakonechny also said Wildcats CARE had a bake sale on April 11, and the proceeds are to be donated to a local shelter.

Geneva Fitzgerald, a senior majoring in communication, has been a member of Wildcats CARE since it was founded in 2014. Fitzgerald is currently the vice president, a position she has held for two semesters.

Fitzgerald grew up around many animals, from birds to cats and dogs, and joined Wildcats CARE for more opportunities to volunteer at local shelters.

Fitzgerald’s favorite local shelter for which she volunteers is Pima Paws for Life, an Adoption Guarantee animal shelter where every adoptable animal is guaranteed a home.

“It is really exciting to have a relationship with the people there and the animals there as well,” Fitzgerald said.

Chrissy Gaddam, a sophomore majoring in psychology and family studies and human development, is currently the treasurer of the club and has been a member of Wildcats CARE since fall of her freshman year.

“I really like volunteering in general, but I am especially passionate about animals,” Gaddam said. “They are so vulnerable and they don’t really have the opportunity to physically speak out, and it feels good to be their voice.”

For more information on Wildcats CARE, you can visit their Facebook page.

Follow Kirshana Guy on Twitter.

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