Homelessness, domestic violence, and other forms of poverty all affect human beings, but Mia Nannicola (`19) shines a light on other victims of these conditions that are often overlooked: animals. While human beings in these situations struggle to find aid, animals suffering from these conditions scarcely find any. This lack of attention and awareness is what inspired Nannicola to start C.A.R.E., or Club for Animal Respect and Education.
DOGS, HORSES, AND WORLD ANIMAL NEGLECT — OH MY!
In her lifetime, Nannicola has been acquainted with a number of animals including dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, and tortoises. At the age of five, Nannicola began riding horses. She shares that her love for animals has only grown stronger since then. Although animals always provide her with happiness, this does not distract her from the harsh reality that thousands of animals around the world are mistreated and neglected. Nannicola was aware of the desperate worldwide need for efficient and proper animal care at a young age, but struggled in deciding how to take action. She realized it would be impossible to save every animal in the world, so she decided to tackle the issue locally by starting a club.
Thus, C.A.R.E. was born!
WHAT IS C.A.R.E.?
C.A.R.E. is a service oriented club at Gilmour that works to aid animals in need. This club was launched in December of 2016 and has been growing ever since. The club hosts monthly meetings in which members engage in projects, collections, and service trips to a local animal shelter entitled Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village. All proceeds, either material or monetary, benefit Rescue Village.
This year, C.A.R.E. created and donated 61 dog toys and 30 blankets for puppies and kittens. In addition to that, members attended two service trips to Rescue Village and wrote letters of gratitude for those who adopt animals from the shelter. Nannicola credits the success of her new club to the motivation and interest within the club’s members.
HUMANS MATTER, ANIMALS MATTER
Nannicola shares that society mainly focuses on human-related service, but she justifies that animal service is important too. She argues that animals have the capability to feel as humans do and as a result, society should protect their rights as it does for humans. “Animals do not have a voice that they can speak out with,” Nannicola said, “so we must speak out for them.” She adds that animals are also a vital part of creation, and neglecting them hurts the earth.
“Animals do not have a voice that they can speak out with, so we must speak for them.”
C.A.R.E. member, Michael Holleran (`19), comments that caring for animals can be more relatable than caring for humans because they are so involving and inviting. He said, “There’s something about how they react to you that allows you to create special bonds and care for them, so it makes it more of a pleasure.”
LEAVING (PAW) PRINTS BEHIND
Nannicola plans to expand C.A.R.E. in the future and invite more people to join its mission. She said, “Participating in C.A.R.E. and other animal service has given me and my peers the ability to make changes in the community that I have desired to see for so long. This has always been an immense passion in my life so being able to start a club and share that passion with others is such a great opportunity. It gives me the chance to truly put actions to the words I believe in.”
Want to C.A.R.E.? Contact Mia Nannicola to join the club.