By Candace Birkelbach

Killeen Daily Herald

Bellaire Elementary School students broadened their perspectives on Friday when they saw some pets that were truly in need of their help.

All of the school's students worked together to post signs and raise awareness for National Pet Day, which the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says was Thursday. Bellaire students promoted pet awareness all week long.

The project was organized by the Science Club as another outlet for serving the community.

Club members got students involved by sending out pet surveys and hosting a pet food drive. Students brought in pet food donations all week, collecting a truckload.

During a pet festival on Friday, students spent some time with animals from Second Chance Animal Shelter.

Club member Alex Brooks said it was nice to see other children, especially younger ones, bonding with the animals.

Many of the animals had medical conditions, had been beaten or were left as strays on the sides of roads.

A dachshund outfitted with wheels and a Chihuahua with only one eye were some of the children's favorites. Jacklyn Asher said seeing the injured pets made her want to help them out even more.

Club member Irena Hargrove said she got to see how some people treat animals.

"It makes us want to adopt them when we see how injured they are," Irena said.

Deja Dantzler said the animals were adorable.

"It makes me want to start crying when I see what people do to animals," Deja said.

Tristan Carman said he was happy the pets had a chance to play outside and not worry about their injuries.

Fifth-grader Jade Bliss said she was glad to help other animals before it was too late for them.

Michelle Martinez, fifth-grade science teacher, said students had a blast all week long.

"It's one more way to help," Martinez said.

Students need to realize several groups in the community could use some help, Martinez said. After seeing the pets, students realized the animals are homeless, and they might want to go adopt them.

After the festival, students said they wanted to do another project with animals.

Contact Candace Birkelbach at or call (254) 501-7553

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