During the holiday season, members of the Tomah Middle School Art Club sold fused glass pendants as part of a fund-raising event.

The funds raised were to be used to purchase art supplies for the club to use for the year, said Rachel Hoscheit, TMS art teacher and Art Club advisor. Students raised more money than they anticipated, so the group decided to donate it to a charity.

“Knowing that we would be going to do it each year, we thought, ‘We can’t use all of this money this year, we don’t need all of this money this year, let’s do something good with it,’” she said. “I asked the kids what they thought about donating a percentage of it, and I gave them a couple of different local organizations to choose from, and they chose Last Paw Rescue.”

Sixth-grade club member Sydney Tiber said the group donated $200 to Last Paw Recuse — $100 was monetary and the other $100 was spent purchasing supplies such as dog food and material to make blankets.

Tiber was excited to help out the organization; she has a love of dogs.

“When I heard about it, I kind of wanted to join because it’s saving dogs, and I just hate hearing sad things about what happens to them,” she said. “I’d rather just save them instead of hearing about it.”

Stacey Zellmer, one of the organization’s directors, was happy that the club chose to donate to her organization.

“It’s absolutely amazing that they chose us. They could have picked any other group in town, and they picked us and we’re touched,” she said. “Our dogs deserve it.”

Last Paw Rescue is an organization that takes in dogs from bad situations and homeless pets, said Kim Abbs, another organization director. Once recused, the dogs get evaluated, checked over and are then sent out to foster homes. From there they work on getting the dogs adopted.

Since the organization was founded in 2012, Zellmer said it has rescued about 4,500 dogs. They don’t discriminate on breed or size.

The money and supplies will be a big help to the organization, Abbs said, especially the blankets.

“Nobody understands how important tie blankets are, but we can’t afford to buy tie blankets for 110 dogs that we bring in every month,” she said. “When we get blankets and toys and things like that, we’re able to send (dogs) to foster with those. Then when they leave the foster to adopt, they will go with the dog to the adopter, so they have a familiar scent. It really helps their transition.”

On Feb. 27, Abbs, Zellmer and other members of Last Paw Rescue collected the items and money. Hoscheit is glad her students got the opportunity to meet the group and some of the animals they saved.

“They were very excited to meet the dogs and the people who run it, and I think it was a great experience for them,” she said.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.

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