PAW Club involves community in animal welfare


Rachel Matatyaou

Rachel Brand, a member of PAW Club, enjoys playing with Marsha (cat) at Pet Smart.

Rachel Matatyaou, Publicity Director

Clubs on campus help people in need of medical care, teach students how to invest money, work to protect the ocean, give gifts to sick children, and more; Protecting Animals Worldwide (PAW) Club adds animals to the list of groups positively impacted by Carlmont clubs.

PAW Club is led by Sonali Kanaya alongside Tai Mei Chang, and the club has been active for numerous years with previous leaders. The club has recently welcomed its new members, and Kanaya and Chang are working towards expanding the club by reaching out to local animal shelters.

“Our meetings are more informative now and we are trying to get everyone to know each other. We are also contacting Nine Lives Foundation, which is a shelter for cats. We are just trying to get ourselves out there,” said Chang.

With about forty active members, the club gets together at the Rocket Dog events monthly to help dogs get adopted. The event takes place every second Saturday of the month at Pet Food Express Belmont.

“We encourage our club members to volunteer and attend orientations. That’s one of our big events this year,” said Chang.

However, there are restrictions on what the club can do as a group.

“ASB rules restrict us to go as a club without field trip forms and the advisor present, but at the club meetings we give information about volunteering events at local shelters and rescues,” said Kanaya.

A larger event that the club recently put on was a supply drive helping dogs affected by the Napa fires. The event took place from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3 where there were bins placed around the school for students to donate supplies. When the fires in Napa broke out, people were suddenly evacuated from their homes, and faced the challenge of bringing their pets along with them. This left many animals, especially dogs, either abandoned or lost, to be found later and in need of help.

“We were specifically looking for dog toys, dog food, towels, blankets, and pillows. Just anything you would think would help [the dogs].  I saw lots of supplies in the bins [throughout the week],” said Chang.

The club is making an active difference and members are eager to continue volunteering and helping animals.

Freshman Amelia Hsich, said, “I have always loved animals and I have volunteered at Rocket Dog Rescue with Soni twice before, so joining the club was an easy decision to make. The current supply drive is a great way to do good for our community, and I am so excited for what’s to come in the future.”