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Club aims to find home for pets
Students hear from traveling performer
Pet WEB 1
Riverwatch Middle School student Lauren Harris holds Lulu during a K-9s in Flight performance. - photo by Alyssa LaRenzie


Riverwatch Middle School students cheered as the K-9s in Flight made some amazing Frisbee catches.

The members of the Homeless Pets Club were excited to spend time with the performing dogs at their meeting Thursday. But it was the stories of John Misita’s canine stars that hit home with the club’s mission.

The Forsyth County man told students his dogs Blitz, Razzle and Lulu were rescued from pasts of neglect, abuse or abandonment.

“Razzle was left in an apartment,” Misita said. “Believe it or not, she lived on toilet water for a week.”

Misita tours with his dogs across the country, performing at NFL and NBA halftimes, major theme parks and large fairs, including the recent Cumming fair.

Riverwatch teacher Beckey Walter said she hoped the performance and backstory would inspire the newly-formed club to carry out its mission to help homeless animals.

Walter started the group after listening to a radio show featuring Cobb County veterinarian Michael Good, whose mission is to rescue animals from kill shelters.

Good, whose mission is to rescue animals from kill shelters.

The club echoes Good’s aims through his Homeless Pets Foundation, Walter said.

Students will volunteer at animal shelters, conduct donation drives and sponsor pets up for adoption, helping find homes for them.

The sponsoring plan will use students’ interest in technology communication for a good cause, Walter said.

“Every month, we choose a pet through the Web site and the kids network it through their phones, their Facebook, Twitter, anything. If they don’t have those, they can make posters and signs,” she said. “It’s just a way to get those animals adopted out as quickly as possible.”

Club member Ellie von Essen has already started sponsoring animals by fostering cats and dogs through the Humane Society of Forsyth County.

She brought a binder with the pets’ information to the club meeting.

“I just want to get the word out that there are so many homeless pets that need homes,” said von Essen, who also volunteers with her mother at the local humane society.

Club member Kimberly Rich said she’s adopted homeless animals before and it felt rewarding to know she’d saved a life.

Rich said she’d never felt compelled to join a club before but signed up as soon as Walter announced it.

“If I could stay here all day, I would,” Rich said during the club’s meeting before classes Thursday.

Walter pointed out that while the group aims to help pets, it’s also a benefit to the students.

“This gives kids who can’t necessarily find their niche a place to go,” she said. “We want to get the kids to make a difference and feel like they’re a part of something.”