June 19, 2023

In Brazil, Adventist School Students Donate Pet Food to NGOs

Initiative helped them to learn how to think about and take care of others, leaders said.

Paulo Ribeiro, South American Division, and Adventist Review
Students and their parents donated pet food and took their pets to play in a downtown square in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil. [Photo: Paulo Ribeiro]

Those walking through Dario Salles Square in downtown Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil, on the morning of June 4 noticed unusual activities. On the square’s grounds were dozens of dogs and cats as well as some rabbits and hamsters.

The animals were under the care of their owners, who were there on that Sunday morning for a Happy Pet Day event, sponsored and promoted by Joinville Adventist Academy – Saguacu. Their goal? Collecting and donating pet food rations to two local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who strive to rescue and protect pets in the area.

Joinville Adventist Academy – Saguacu principal Nara Falcão shared that the fundraising project had begun a month before. “It enlisted the involvement of parents, students, and other volunteers,” she explained. “And here at the square we are holding the closing of this year’s campaign.”

Students’ and Families’ Involvement

Luana Ribeiro is the mother of one of the students who decided to get involved and collect pet food for the Happy Pet Day campaign. “We collected 21 kilograms [46 pounds] of pet food,” Ribeiro said. “I am a personal trainer, and my son recorded a video asking my students to help,” she shared. “Some donated money, and others pet food bags. My son is very excited about the result. And I think it’s a really cool social action because it helps children to think of others.”

Another donor was Darci Venancio, father of two students. According to Venancio, they have a puppy at home, a pet that his kids love very much. “We know there are many animals without a home,” he said. “No doubt, these donations will make a difference in the lives of these animals. If every one of us helps a little bit, in the end, the result will be significant.”

Free Pet Services at the Square

In addition to the family outing and interaction with domestic animals, the June 4 event at the square offered some free services for pets themselves. People could enjoy a free consultation with a vet, who ran check-ups and provided tips to owners.

Visitors also received some gifts to help them take better care of their pets and could have their dogs participate in an agility course. The course included a specially designed circuit with various obstacles and equipment that prompts dogs to exercise and acquire new skills.

Turma do Gatil, one of the NGOs that will benefit from the Adventist school initiative, was also on site, offering kittens for adoptions. Some of the visiting families decided to adopt an animal and left with a new pet.

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.