Amy Santos is a Girl Scout Troop Leader in New Bedford and she told us that two of her scouts are working on earning their silver award with a service project. The silver award is the highest award they can earn at their age level, as Abby Santos and Jesenia Villanueva are middle-school-aged.

Helping Paws is their labor of love. The project is meant to raise awareness of shelter dogs and create a database of volunteers to walk shelter dogs.

There are so many dogs in shelters that are stuck in cages all the time. They want to make people aware of how many adoptable dogs there are out there in the community. They are also aware that many people love dogs, but either can't afford one, don’t have enough time to responsibly own one, or their housing situation makes it impossible to have one. They thought that it would be the perfect match to have volunteers walking shelter dogs. -Amy Santos

The girls are hoping that this project will let the dogs out for fresh air, allowing them to safely explore with a volunteer, and expose the pup to the public so someone could see him or her and might be interested in adopting the dog. "They have created and sewn coverings for leashes that say “adopt me” for when people are out walking the dogs."

Adopt Me Leash - Amy Santos

They plan on having a short form to fill out after a dog is walked so they can provide feedback to shelters about the dog socially and temperamentally.

They are also asking for donations of lightly used or new leashes so they can fit them with the “adopt me” leash coverings. They will have a table at Pet Fest coming up in May.

They plan on working with Lighthouse Animal Shelter in New Bedford.

With additional reporting by Melanie Galdamez.