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Students who like animals love the Animal Care Club. It meets every other Tuesday at 2:15. Members learn about domestic and wild animals, and participate in several service projects throughout the year. Students can join at any time and come for as many club meetings as they want.
“Throughout the year we collect items for the Westchester SPCA, the Wolf Conservation Center, and the Guiding Eyes Canine Development Center,” said Robin Woolley, JJMS School Counselor and leader of this club. Club members also take turns helping to maintain a fish tank in Mrs. Woolley's office.
The Animal Care Club will be collecting the following items throughout the month of December to donate to the SPCA of Westchester County: Household items including sponges, paper towels, rubber gloves, garbage bags, and gently used flat sheets, towels, and blankets. Pet supplies including litter boxes, dog biscuits and treats, dog/cat brushes, new leashes and collars, wild bird feed, Kongs (any size). Students should put donated items in in or next to the boxes provided in the front lobby.
Regan Downey, an educator with the Wolf Conservation Center, recently came to visit the Animal Care Club. This wolf sanctuary is just two miles down the road from John Jay Middle School. Some students in the club mentioned they can hear the wolves howling from their homes!
“We have twenty-two wolves. Visitors can meet four of them: Atka, Alawa, Zephyr, and Nikai. We call them our Ambassador wolves,” said Downey. “We want the others to live free in the wild, and to hopefully contribute to the recovery of their rare species.
They discussed one of the most famous wolves of all time—the villain of Little Red Riding Hood. Hands shot up when Downey asked, “What misconceptions does this story give us about wolves?” Wolves don’t talk, wear nightgowns, or eat people, the students easily determined.
Although Reagan Downey’s school did not have an animal care club, she knew she always wanted to work with animals. She volunteered at the Wolf Center as a student, and then interned there in college. She loves her job! She told students that families can donate items like old socks and towels, kitchen spices, and perfumes to the Wolf Conservation Center. The staff will make them into “smell treats” for the wolves.