Student organization gives back to local animal shelters

Dawgs Serving Dogs prepares for its two-week-long “Bark Madness” fundraising event. Courtesy of @dawgs4dogsbutler on Instagram. 


Butler’s Dawgs Serving Dogs club uses its love for dogs and passion for philanthropy to give back to local animal shelters.

The goal of Dawgs Serving Dogs is to bring people together who share a love for animals. The club aims to make a difference in the lives of dogs by volunteering at humane societies in the Indianapolis area and putting on fundraisers for the humane societies.

Allison Peffley, a junior biology major, is the current vice president of Dawgs Serving Dogs. She explained why she enjoys being a part of the club.

“I feel like everyone misses their dog when they’re in college,” Peffley said. “I think being a part of the club and being able to see dogs like when we got to hang out with Bella and Scooter, the [Butler University] therapy dogs, a few weeks ago, or just being involved in something dog-related. I think it just brings joy to people.”

Although the club’s main shelter of choice is Indy Humane, the executive team and members are now supporting shelters in the surrounding areas whenever possible. Indy Humane is often overbooked with volunteers, so it is sometimes difficult for the club to volunteer in person at that location. Now, the club is starting to branch out more and volunteer at other local shelters such as the Hamilton County Humane Society in Fishers, Indiana. 

Dawgs Serving Dogs aims to put on an event or host activities at least once a month. Karin Johnson, a sophomore finance major, is the treasurer and financial coordinator of the club. She shared about the upcoming event called “Bark Madness” starting March 20. 

“We based [the event] on the theme of March Madness,” Johnson said. “We’re going to make a [graphic in the style of] a bracket, and then there are five teams. Each executive member is the leader of the team. Each team gets to pick a rescue in the local area, and their goal is to donate towards [it]. [Each member of the club] has to individually fundraise and donate [for their team]. We have incentives for the end of [Bark Madness], and whatever team makes the most money, all of the money goes to the rescue that they picked.”

The fundraising for Bark Madness will last unti March 31. There will be a new task each weekday for team members to complete on their social media platforms to help raise awareness for the club and gain donations for the shelter of their choice. Some tasks include posting a donation board, coming up with a way to promote “Adopt Don’t Shop”, designing a charity poster and posting pictures and videos of their own pets.  

In April, Dawgs Serving Dogs will also be holding a fundraiser at the gazebo outside of Starbucks. 

“[We] don’t have a certain shelter [to donate to] in mind yet,” Peffley said. “We’re going to be collecting donations and sending the money where we want to.”

At the same event last April, the club was able to raise about $235 and gifted a box of supplies for Indy Humane.

A past event that Dawgs Serving Dogs has been involved in is the Bulldog Jog. This event offered several distances for members to participate in. Some members also volunteered at the Bulldog Beauty Contest during Butler’s last homecoming game. The club also holds smaller fundraising events throughout the year specifically for members, including movie nights and stocking events during the holidays.

Even though giving back to shelters can be very fun and exciting for people, some members of Dawgs Serving Dogs want to spread a bigger message about why people should support shelters in the first place. Maddie Stein, a first-year criminology and spanish double major, expressed why she believes that volunteering at animal shelters is important.

“I think it’s important because overbreeding and abandonment are such huge problems,” Stein said. “I actually recently gave a presentation on the issues of puppy mills because even though the Animal Welfare Act and laws like that are in place, they’re not enforced. There’s so much overbreeding and animal abuse; it’s happening, and it’s so important that we volunteer and we’re trying to correct those things.” 

Dawgs Serving Dogs is an effective way for students to get involved with shelters in the Indianapolis area by volunteering, donating, fundraising and spreading awareness about the amount of help that shelter animals actually need from the community.

If students are interested in supporting Dawgs Serving Dogs, the club is open to taking donations that can be used towards club events or donated straight to local shelters. Students can also sign up for the email list for club events. The club can also be found on Instagram @dawgs4dogsbutler.


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