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Helping Animals Makes Them Happy

Julie Cavanaugh (left) and Julie Watson pictured with three greyhounds at the Greyhound Rescue of N.E. in Mendon. The girls are volunteering their time helping to care for the dogs and to find them good homes as part of their Girl Scout Silver Award project.

Mendon Cadets Julie Cavanaugh's and Julie Watson's love for animals made choosing their Girl Scout Silver Award Project an extremely easy one. They have chosen to dedicate their time and energy to helping the Greyhound Rescue of New England, a small, non-profit organization located in Mendon dedicated to saving retired racing Greyhounds when their racing careers have ended, and finding them loving homes.

The two 13-year-old girls, who are a part of the 2nd year Mendon Cadet Troop 30355, are working towards earning the Silver Award, the highest award a Cadet can earn. Troop members must choose a local community service project, put together a timeline, choose an advisor and mentor, and complete a minimum of 40 hours of service work on their project choice."We chose this project because we like helping the dogs and making them feel that there are people who really care about them." said Cavanaugh.

Since March, the girls have spent a great deal of quality time with the dogs at the kennel, brushing them, washing them, cleaning their crates, and walking them around the grounds. The girls also help to welcome the newcomers to the Rescue, by sewing dog blankets for their crates so they will be more comfortable in their new environment.

Cavanaugh and Watson are also actively assisting the greyhounds by getting the word out about the dogs available for adoption and the needs of the organization. They organized and manned a booth at the Strawberry Festival this past June in Mendon where they collected monetary donations and gave out adoption information to those who seemed interested. They have also been brainstorming creative ways to assist the kennel in getting donations of their wish list items such as laundry detergent, bleach, pine sol, and paper towels. In August, they will be starting a "flyer-drive" for these items, where they will put a flyer out at people's homes asking for these products to be donated which they will then collect on a specific day.

The girls will continue to work with their Project Advisor Diane Stevens and Project Mentor Megan Murphy not only helping the animals they have come to love find good homes, but also making sure they are happy and well cared for. The project has benefited not only the dogs, but the Cadets as well, as they realized that they have learned an important lesson along the way. "We have learned that helping other people and animals can make you happy." reflected Watson.

More information about The Greyhound Rescue of New England, including information about adoptions and upcoming fundraisers can be found on their website at


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