When Tiffany Elementary School fifth grader Amelia Mendoza grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian.
The self-proclaimed animal lover owns a few pets of her own including a guinea pig and a Chihuahua, in addition to being close to the neighborhood cat.
Although Amelia, 10, still has a ways to go before she can work as a veterinarian, she is doing what she can now to help animals as part of a Girl Scout project called Senior Dogs: Care Package Project.
The project has her partnering with the San Diego Humane Society in an effort to educate the public about senior dogs and provide animal shelters with dog beds and dog care packages.
Amelia said she hopes by educating the public about senior dogs more people would be inclined to adopt one.
“People adopt more puppies (than senior dogs) because they think if they get like an old dog that they can’t have it as a pet for a long time,” she said. “They should adopt an old dog so that it won’t have to live in an animal shelter until it dies.”
Conducting her own research for the project, Amelia learned elderly dogs make great companions for elderly people because most of them are already trained, don’t need much attention and do not need to be as active as younger dogs.
As a member of Girl Scout Troop 6062 that covers parts of National City and Paradise Hills, Amelia has done community service projects before with other girls like food drives that provide Thanks Giving meals to homeless families.
But with Senior Dogs: Care Package Project she’s on her own as she attempts to earn a Bronze Award. The project requires her to working on the community service project for about 20 hours, but said she wants to continue with it after she meets the required hours.
To meet the Bronze award she must develop a program or flyer to increase awareness and adoption of elderly dogs, not just seek donations.
She said included making beds for adoption shelters in her project because the four legged animals don’t really have a place to sleep or lay.
To learn more about Amelia’s project or to donate dog supplies visit the Senior Dogs: Care Package Project Facebook page.