In high school, I had always dreamed of becoming a small animal veterinarian. I interned half the school day at one animal hospital and worked after school at another hospital. I lived in Hereford, Maryland, a very small town in northern Baltimore county. It was a rural area, but there was still a major problem with an over population of stray cats and dogs. My neighbor decided to start feeding a stray cat, and I told her that she should take the cat to the vet to get fixed. She replied that it was too expensive, especially for a stray outdoor cat. This one cat quickly turned into almost 15 cats and kittens and she didn’t have to money to get them all fixed. A couple months later, I started to volunteer at the local animal rescue with a friend of mine. The animal rescue would offer big discounts at a much cheaper rate for spaying and neutering than any of the veterinary hospitals, but not everyone knew about the discount or even knew where the shelter was. The shelter was always looking for donations, but never had enough money and had to constantly turn animals away.
My high school was having an arts and crafts sale and since I was an artist myself, I decided to turn it into an opportunity to raise money for the shelter and spread the word about spaying/ neutering and inform people about the discounts that the shelter provided. At the time I was making clay roses as gifts and many people seemed to like them, so I thought they would be the best thing to make and sell. I also made a banner advertising for the animal shelter and with each clay rose I sold, I handed out a pamphlet with information about the shelter and the importance of spaying/neutering. I donated 50% of what I made to the shelter and later learned that in the months following, they received many more donations and had an increase in the amount of cats and dogs being brought in for spaying/neutering.