By STEFAN MODRICH
Two Ridge Point High School students gathered toys for animals at the Missouri City animal shelter and were recognized for their efforts last Friday at the shelter.
In an Oct. 16 YouTube video posted to the city’s official channel, TaBorah Goffney, Missouri City’s animal services manager, and City Manager Odis Jones commended students Alyssah Mack and Timothy Peitsch for their role in collecting two large shopping bags’ worth of materials that were transformed into toys for animals.
“We all know that oftentimes for us animal-lovers, right, that pets are, you know, family members,” Jones said last Friday in his address to the students. “Here we have a lot of family members that are in need. And the fact that you’re willing to take your time and effort and the other students as well to want to contribute to your communities where it’s very meaningful to not only me and the staff here, but in your community, certainly.”
Mack and Peitsch are both members of the school’s student council and co-chairs of the student council’s environment and energy committee.
The students created a donation program and gathered used T-shirts, socks and water bottles and gave them a second life as pet toys, Peitsch said.
“Since (COVID-19) started, we kind of felt bad for all these animals as they’re lacking human contact, and so we just tried to help them out as much as possible,” Peitsch said. “Hopefully it can have an impact on the dogs’ lives.”
Jones praised the students for their efforts and for encouraging their classmates to get involved in the initiative. In a phone interview Monday, he praised them for being “woke” and for being hyper-attentive to the needs and concerns of their furry friends.
“I think it’s a really good thing to be tremendously caring and helpful to your community,” Jones said. “Hats off, I just want to applaud y’all for doing that. It’s one thing for adults who are not in school that have to do that but the fact that you are willing to contribute to the community at such a young age, I just think we’ve got to really follow that as a community.”
Goffney said she and the animal services and shelter staff were grateful for the students’ foresight in fulfilling a need that arose as a result of the pandemic.
“We definitely want to extend our warmest thanks to you guys for thinking of us during a time such as (COVID-19)” Goffney said. “And thinking of the dogs and what they have to go through as well. So we definitely give you our greatest thanks for taking your time out and doing this.”
Goffney added if the community is looking to get involved with the shelter, they are welcome to do so.
“If people are interested in volunteering with the shelter, that is a very real need for us,” Goffney said Monday. “Hand-in-hand with the donations and the volunteering from the community, that is the best support that we can get from our citizens. I think that’s a great thing. It’s a completely symbiotic relationship. We need the volunteers just as much as they need the staff, and no one entity can do it on their own.”