Alexis (Lexie) Young met her first cat named Milkyway when she visited an animal shelter with her Girl Scout troop early on in her 11-year journey from “Daisy” to “Senior” scout. Like with most Girl Scout troops, becoming a well-rounded scout means learning about the community — and it starts by experiencing it first hand.
The troop learned all about adoption and pet overpopulation that day while greeting and playing with the furry residents looking for forever homes. As is often the case, a person’s first visit to an animal shelter can be an eye-opener to the pervasiveness of pet homelessness in their own community.
This trip and meeting Milkyway ended up leaving a lasting impact on Lexie even now. With a grown-up frame of reference to pet homelessness as a problem that needs solving and support, Lexie is setting out to help her community learn more about the importance of pet adoption.
Her passion for animal advocacy sparked the creation of two truly well thought out adoption brochures that go to explain to potential adopters the importance of being an educated, prepared, and empowered pet owner.
“My project focuses on informing people interested in adopting a cat and/or a dog. The information included is general costs, basic supplies, and getting people to think if they are ready to adopt,” said Lexie. “The purpose of this pamphlet is to give a realistic idea of expectations when adopting a pet, to highlight the wonderful benefits of adopting a pet, and to avoid pets being returned to shelters/rescues.”
She worked with a local family veterinarian to create the fact-filled brochures (one for cats and one for dogs), to make sure all of the information was accurate, educational, and inspiring for pet parents.
Lexie is even submitting her pet advocacy project as a Girl Scout’s Gold Award Project (the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA). The award is earned by Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts who tackle issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond.
“This project reflects each Girl Scouts journey to becoming a leader and their ability to make a change in their communities,” said Lexie. “Each project is unique to each Girl Scout, and each makes lasting changes to the people involved.”
Lexie is currently a student at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida where she resides with her family including a menagerie of cats, a dog, and chickens. She is looking forward to continuing to help spread the adopt don’t shop message throughout her community and hopes this project will make a serious difference.
This is the future of animal welfare hard at work. Thank you, Lexie, for your support of all the cats and dogs looking for second chances.
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