RUMFORD — Mountain Valley High School sophomore Kayla Drapeau learned that running an animal adoption agency “is not easy.” She and three classmates volunteered for four hours at McKennel’s Animal Adoption Agency in Rumford.
Through the experience, Drapeau gained an appreciation of the business. “You don’t just get to play with the animals all day," she said. "You have to clean up after them, feed them and provide a good environment for them. It costs a lot to keep the animals until they are adopted.”
As the service project leader, she also learned about planning and executing a project. In the coming months, other members of her homeroom will have the opportunity to be a project manager and complete their own community project.
“I called McKennel’s and scheduled a time and date,” she explained, “I told everyone going to wear boots. The day we went, I called again to verify that everything was all set.”
In the meantime, Drapeau helped members of her homeroom collect paper towels, trash bags and newspapers – supplies that the agency needs. They also donated cat and dog food.
She also tested her skills in social interactions and motivating others. “I learned to be professional and business-like on the phone. When we were at McKennel’s, there was no arguing with each other because we had to represent Mountain Valley High School.”
In addition to Drapeau, Angela O’Leary, Armin Berger and Nick Billings volunteered. Their job was to stack wood that the shelter burns to keep the animals warm. They also toured the facility.
Drapeau recalled, “I got really attached to one cat. While we were stacking wood, it got adopted. That was a good thing because I would have tried to take it home with me.”
O’Leary agreed, “I wanted to take home one of the animals, too.”
O’Leary and Drapeau also gained experience as spider exterminators. “There were a ton of spiders. Angela and I must have killed a hundred,” Drapeau said.
Finally, Drapeau learned appreciation, “I would like to thank McKennel’s for letting us volunteer.”