Volunteer Group Helps Rebuild Guthrie Animal Shelter

Tuesday, January 3rd 2012, 6:57 pm
By: News 9

One segment of Guthrie's population won't be homeless much more, thanks to a group of Pennsylvania volunteers.  

When a large tornado rolled through Oklahoma last May, it destroyed the city of Guthrie's animal shelter.  The animals have been set up in a temporary shelter since then, but the city had been trying to figure out how to rebuild the shelter, when they were contacted by Rescue U. 

Rescue U. is a component of Petfinder.com.  The program, which is less than ten years old, rehabilitates animal shelters around the country.

Bryna Donnelly has been with the program since the beginning.  Donnelly's also the project manager for the Guthrie work site.  She said one of Petfinder's sponsors recently made a large donation to the project.

"They came to us and asked us if we could help then spend some money," said Donnelly.  "We found the city of Guthrie animal shelter, and it was a good fit for what my kids can do."

The group is mostly students and former students from Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania, where Rescue University's main student chapter is located.  The students were joined in Guthrie by other students from Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, and also students from Oklahoma State and the University of Oklahoma.   

Janina Nickle graduated from Delaware Valley College two years ago, but continues to travel with the group.

"My specialty would be chain link fences," Nickle said.  "At this point I've done them on a lot of trips.  I've gotten pretty good at it now."

The students aren't paid for their labor, and no college credit is given for the project.  And according to Donnelly, the projects wouldn't happen without them.

"They're just doing it because they love animals and they really like to help people out who help animals," Donnelly said.  "These kids are amazing."