Oct. 11 was the first day of classes after fall break. Campus was abuzz with activity as friends greeted each other after several days apart. Chatter among students could be heard in the Academic Quad as well as the barks of a few four-legged visitors.
The dogs made an appearance as part of a joint event held by the Chi Kappa chapter of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (FIGI) and the Alpha Phi chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority (AST) in partnership with the Brandywine SPCA. The event, Dogs for Dogs, was a hotdog fundraiser aimed at raising money for the shelter. The Brandywine SPCA brought three dogs, Jax, Vilmo and Socks, as well as a plethora of toys, treats and informational packets.
The West Chester branch of the Brandywine SPCA is located in on the Phoenixville Pike and it is Pennsylvania’s first no-kill animal shelter. The Brandywine SPCA has two other branches located in New Castle and Georgetown, Delaware, and has over 10,000 animals available for adoption.
Dozens of students trickled in throughout the afternoon. Many stopped to pet the dogs and talk with the shelter volunteers. Some brought their own dogs with them. SPCA volunteers walked the dogs—dressed in Halloween costumes—around the Quad and had the dogs perform various tricks for the onlookers. There was a tent set up with hotdogs and various snacks, all available for a recommended donation of $2, and members of FIGI and AST stood on the sidewalk and encouraged those passing by to participate.
FIGI secretary and junior Mike Babb was particularly pleased with Dogs for Dogs. He said that the organization decided to partner with the SPCA because “a lot of the brothers really love dogs.” Babb said FIGI would like to work with the SPCA again in the future as part of the fraternity’s commitment to philanthropy.
Handling one of the dogs was SPCA volunteer Anne Tenaglia. When asked about why she decided to volunteer for the SPCA, Tenaglia’s said, “My dog died and I couldn’t bear the thought of getting another dog to replace him, so I started volunteering.” She has been volunteering at the shelter for the past four years. The Brandywine SPCA brought several dogs to the event, but Tenaglia says they’ve taken in 300-400 dogs from Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico that have been displaced by the recent hurricanes.
According to Brandywine SPCA Community Engagement Coordinator Kristen Szwast, there are over 200 dogs available for adoption at the West Chester branch. Opportunities to become involved at the Brandywine SPCA are also available. Szwast said that the organization is “always looking for volunteers.” The shelter also had a signup sheet for students who were interested in volunteering.
Freshmen Fariza Malik and Michaela Staub and junior McKenna Glass are members of AST who were present at Dogs for Dogs. The trio served food, encouraged people to donate and took pictures with the dogs. When asked what they hoped the event would achieve, Staub said, “I want all dogs to have a home.”
The Brandywine SPCA can be reached at (484) 302-0865.
Olivia Bortner is a third-year student majoring in marketing. She can be reached at OB876952@wcupa.edu and on Twitter @OliviaBortner.