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Haley Mills plays with a puppy while on a visit to the Decatur Animal Shelter with Deborah Woodall’s third-grade class from Danville-Neel Elementary School.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Haley Mills plays with a puppy while on a visit to the Decatur Animal Shelter with Deborah Woodall’s third-grade class from Danville-Neel Elementary School.

Holiday for animals
Danville-Neel class adopts shelter as Christmas project

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com· 340-2432

The dogs and cats at the Decatur Animal Shelter may not have a permanent home, but they will have a merry Christmas because of a Danville-Neel Elementary School class.

Deborah Woodall’s third-grade class chose the animal shelter as its Christmas project this year, instead of collecting cans or adopting a needy family.

The students collected toys, food and blankets and took them to the shelter.

“I really love animals, and most of the kids do, too,” Woodall said. “This is something they can relate to and get excited about.”

Woodall used this excitement to spur their interest in reading about animals. She said they read a book about the rescue dogs used following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York.

She also taught the students how to take care of their pets.

The students helped Marvelle Moore of the Decatur Animal Shelter unfold newspapers for use in the cage bottoms. They also got their picture taken with a dog or cat and visited the kennel.

“They’re so cute and adorable,” said 9-year-old Haley Mills. “I want one to take home.”

While none of the students went home with a pet, Moore said it helps that they know of the shelter when they are able to adopt.

“Maybe they will think of us and adopting instead of going out and buying a pet,” Moore said. Moore said the animals would appreciate the gifts, particularly the chew toys.

“Sometimes they get a little bored (in their pens and cages) because they have nothing to do,” Moore said. “This will keep them from going kennel crazy. They can take their frustrations out on the chew toys.”

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