4 the Love of Paws raises money for displaced pets


Seniors Aleah Burris and Mackenzie Nekl stand outside the MACC Center on Sept. 12, 2017 and collect donations for Austin Pets Alive, a shelter in Austin affected by Hurricane Harvey. 

Alex Kamczyc

After Hurricane Harvey swept through the Houston area nearly two weeks ago, its forceful path caused not only damage, but displaced thousands of families and pets from their homes.

While many have reached out to provide relief for humans, there is also a growing effort to help rescue the animals that have been affected. Numerous organizations have gone to Houston to help rescue and relocate animals all across the country.

“Animals are innocent,” said Taylar Powell, a junior sociology major who is also a member of 4 the Love of Paws. “These weather trends have affected people, but they’ve also affected animals that can’t fend for themselves.”

4 the Love of Paws is a student organization on campus that volunteers and fundraises money for local animal shelters. They are one of the many groups that have dedicated their efforts to helping animals in need. On Tuesday, they ran a donation drive outside the M.A.C. Center for one of the animal shelters leading the mission to rescue those animals displaced by Harvey.

“Helping these rescues supply the funds they need to do this is extremely important,” said Aleah Burris, a senior zoology major and president of the organization. “Once this is all over, families are going to want their pets back.”

All of the money raised will go to the Austin Pets Alive!, an organization that has already saved 2,000 animals from the storm. The money will help them purchase supplies for pets and raise awareness for the rescue plans that are ongoing.

“We need to come together as a community and help out others in need” said Mackenzie Nekl, a senior integrated mathematics major and vice president of 4 the Love of Paws. “This is just one thing we can do to help.”

Equipped with two small donation jars, a table with a handmade sign and a hopeful outlook of the tragedy, 4 the Love of Paws lead the fight to rebuild the lives of those caught in the storm.

“Even just one person can help make a difference,” Burris said. “Just that $1 is going to impact a pet that will save their lives. That can change someone’s life forever.”

Alex Kamczyc is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].