Club Focuses on Finding Forever Homes for Shelter Animals


Photo Courtesy of Sienna Monnier

Puppy love is the driving force behind Pali’s Smiles Pet Club, engaging club members and the Pali community through activities and projects centered around animal education.

Throughout the months of March and April, the club conducted a pet supplies drive where students donated food and other provisions, while receiving community service hours. Earlier this month, the club staged a honey-themed bake sale to raise money for bee conservation, where they sold baked goods and snacks. 

Most recently, Smiles Pet Club facilitated the rescue of a dog, renamed Bowie, according to Co-President of the club, Sienna Monnier. 

Monnier, a sophomore, said that this was the first time since she joined the club that they have helped rescue a dog. Monnier added that the club members spent months organizing the logistics of the rescue. 

The club utilized Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor to post advertisements for a prospective foster family for Bowie. The shepard-mix was picked from the East Valley Shelter, which is part of the City of Los Angeles shelter system. 

The other co-president, Madison Cheungsomboune, a sophomore, echoed Monnier’s desire for the club to rescue more animals in the future.“I think that the dog rescue was a really great way to get everyone directly involved with the club…[because] everyone could help find a foster [family for Bowie],” Cheungsomboune said.

Monnier said that they hope to rescue dogs from dangerous situations, whether it be euthanization or abusive homes. 

One way that the club did this was by specifically looking for Euth-Listed dogs in City of Los Angeles dog shelter databases. They also sought out a dog that would mesh well with the foster family’s other pets.  

“Not all shelters will [conduct temperament testing with] their dogs, but the one that we pulled from, which is East Valley, did. So we knew that Bowie was great with other dogs, and the foster he is with has other pets so we knew that would be a good match,” Monnier said. 

Smiles Pet Club member, Daniella Traum, a sophomore, said that she has learned about the process of fostering an animal through the club.

Traum added that she was happy to be a part of Bowie’s rescue. 

“It was really nice to understand that you don’t have to be running a dog rescue or be an adult to make a difference,” Traum said.