Paws & Relax With Key Club


Kristen Conklin

Holding a dog, sophomore Lysandra Pecina is looking forward to Paws & Relax. “Knowing that AP testing is over, I’m excited to de-stress with adorable dogs,” Pecina said.

Kristen Conklin, Staff Writer

Key Club will host Paws & Relax where students will have the opportunity to play with and feed shelter animals, including puppies and kittens, to unwind and relax after two long, hectic weeks of standardized testing. The event will take place Friday, May 12 on the senior patio from 2:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

“I want to attend Paws & Relax mainly for the puppies, but also as a stress-reliever,” sophomore Jaelen Lou Sandoval said. “I was stressed about testing, but when I saw a poster for Paws & Relax, I immediately [calmed down]. I’ve never been more excited to play with puppies than now.”

The idea to bring animals to the school came to fruition after a Key Club convention held this past month in Dallas, according to Key Club sponsor Courtney De Leon.

“We were on an elevator talking about ways to [possibly] help students relax because everyone was so stressed about testing,” De Leon said. “The elevator door opened, and a lady was holding three tiny chihuahuas. The entire elevator went ‘awww’ all at once. My brain wondered if we could get a shelter to bring in some puppies and donate back to them for bringing the animals. When I expressed this to the officers with me, they all immediately said yes, and we started making plans on the car ride home. We saw a need, got some inspiration from puppies and created the event.”

Paws & Relax tickets for students and adults are being sold for five dollars in rooms 705 and 716. Tickets will be distributed first through fourth period if purchased before Thursday, and will also be available Friday at the event.

“Thursday is first come, first serve [for tickets] until the bell,” De Leon said. “Students pay a general admission and can meet, pet, play with and just enjoy the animals. There will be treat bags available for students to purchase for two dollars to feed their favorite animals. Cold water bottles for one dollar each at the event [will be available] as well if [students] are thirsty. [Paws & Relax] is an open door event, so students and attendees can come play and go in and out for as long as the event lasts. We don’t want the animals to get too tired or overheat, so they will only be there for a limited time. We will also have a special group coming to sign up participants in Bark For Life, a division of Relay for Life, on Oct. 28.”

A variety of rescue shelters, animal fosters and a local veterinary hospital will be bringing the dogs, puppies and a few cats to the school. Proceeds from the event will help to keep rescued animals in no-kill shelters.

“It is so important to support no-kill shelters,” Sandoval said. “They will only euthanize certain animals due to disease, old age and other issues, and they take care of the animals to the best of their abilities. No-kill shelters are the way to go. Regular shelters usually euthanize dogs because a certain one doesn’t get adopted, get many visitors or even if they need cage space.”