LSU English Class Helps Local Pets Get Adopted
BATON ROUGE, LA - The students in Professor Laurie Drummond’s English 2000 class are fine-tuning their persuasive writing skills while helping local Baton Rouge pets find a home.
“I know that learning how to write well for different audiences and purposes as well as developing critical thinking skills are crucial for a successful career and an engaged life,” said Drummond said.
She combined her passion for writing and teaching with her passion for animals and animal welfare through her service-learning English class.
Drummond started fostering for the Baton Rouge intake shelter Companion Animal Alliance two years ago and has since fostered 32 dogs. Last semester, her students volunteered more than 480 hours in less than three months for Companion Animal Alliance. They wrote 40 Petfinder bios and created 16 public service announcements, some of which aired at the Louisiana International Film Festival. Drummond said it’s the students’ powerful writing that led people, both strangers and the students own loved ones, to rescue the cats and dogs.
“There have been several student adoptions each semester. But the most adoptions, both of dogs and cats, are by students’ grandparents, boyfriends, roommates. One student knew his grandparents wanted a dog so he weekend-fostered two dogs so his grandparents could meet and select one. Another student brought his roommate to help him while he walked dogs at the shelter and the roommate ended up falling in love with a cat and adopting it.”
The students also assisted at the shelter's free vaccination clinics in an under-resourced
area of the city, fostered and gave lots of love to distressed shelter animals and
helped them find their way into forever homes. The students became better writers
and at the same time they made a difference. Some said their lives were changed for
the better forever, with the semester ending with a new pet.
“One of the goals of this class is to help students realize the need for and benefits of community engagement. It’s so magical and rewarding when the students start to realize, about 1/3rd of the way into the semester, that it may not seem like much help, or that big of a deal, to walk a dog, but it means everything to that dog that spends 23 hours a day in a kennel. And finally, people use the word animal welfare, but most don’t know what that really means in both a local and a global sense,” Drummond said.
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Contact Rachel Spangenthal
LSU Media Relations
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