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Catawba Students Become Guardians for Local Animals

November 24, 2015

Category: Events, Students

 Catawba Shelter Guardians spend time with
the animals awaiting adoption.
(Photo: Todd Shinn)

by Shannon Garrick ’17  

In 2014, Shelter Guardians, a non-profit organization in Rowan County and all volunteer fundraising group, was founded by Nina Dix, a local dog behaviorist and trainer. The Shelter Guardians' mission is to help provide the Rowan County Animal Shelter and their animals with resources, such as medical care, food, toys, and any other needs while the animals await adoption. The organization's current goal, "Project Canine," is to raise funds to build a new, larger shelter for the animals.

Shelter Guardians wants to involve the community and schools in Rowan County with efforts to raise funds to take care of the animals at the Rowan County Animal Shelter. Two of these groups are Catawba Shelter Guardians and Shelter Guardians Youth of Salisbury Academy. Shelter Guardians Youth of Salisbury Academy has created art to donate for sale and has sold lemonade to help raise funds at events for Shelter Guardians.


In the spring of 2015, Dr. Cheryl Peevy, a Spanish professor at Catawba College, animal lover, and volunteer with Shelter Guardians, and Amy Carlton, a senior Spanish major, wanted Catawba to become actively involved with Shelter Guardians. Together they formed the Catawba Shelter Guardians, incorporating the four core values of Catawba's mission: Scholarship, Character, Culture, and Service into the club's goals.

The goals of the club include: volunteering for Shelter Guardian events (fundraisers, adoption fairs, and clinics), sponsoring educational programs on campus about animal welfare, and holding fundraising events for students on Catawba's campus.

  Catawba student Taylor Parker and Peevy help sort donations from the recent Furry Friends Drive.
(Photo: Betsy Mowery)

Since its creation, the club has participated in several Shelter Guardian events. Catawba Shelter Guardians took a tour of the Shelter and were able to see the different kennels, rooms, and how space is severely limited at the current location. The second event was a rabies clinic held at the Shelter, where the students helped fill out the paperwork for each dog and cat and learned about the importance of rabies vaccines. They were also able to play and interact with the animals at the clinic. The club has also assembled and served meals for the Port-a-Pit BBQ that raised money for "Project Canine."

Other events included assisting the Catawba College Staff Council with their annual "Furry Friends Drive" that accepted donations of various much-needed items for dogs and cats. The club members also volunteered at the Shelter Guardians Adoption Fair on Saturday, November 14 at Uptown Dogs and Cats Grooming Salon.    

Thus far, there are approximately 30 members, with many more eager to join. For more information, visit the Shelter Guardians page on Facebook or visit the Shelter Guardians homepage, For more information regarding Catawba Shelter Guardians, please e-mail or

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