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Redwood Students Create Valentines for Mistreated Dogs

Students made Valentines that will be sent to the Dogs Deserve Better organization.

Redwood students in grades kindergarten to two created Valentines to send to the Dogs Deserve Better organization. Photos by Melinda Stevens
Redwood students in grades kindergarten to two created Valentines to send to the Dogs Deserve Better organization. Photos by Melinda Stevens

Redwood Elementary students have a plan this Valentine’s Day and it’s to spread love to mistreated dogs. On Thursday, students in kindergarten through fifth grade made Valentines to give to the Dogs Deserve Better organization, a non-profit that aims to stop the suffering of chained and penned dogs.

The organization will send the donated, homemade cards to people who mistreat their dogs in an effort to encourage them to treat their dogs with respect and love.

“We are trying to convince owners who aren’t bringing their dogs inside from the cold to let them inside,” Jennifer Paull, Redwood teacher and organizer of the event, said at the event Thursday. “We need to get dogs inside and we need to make beautiful valentines that will convince the owners to treat their dog as a member of the family.”

Dogs Deserve Better is in its 11th year of giving valentine cards to owners of mistreated animals and winter is the most crucial time to reach out to the owners, according to founder and director Tamira Thayne in a press release on the organization website.

“Winter is the best time to reach out to those who chain and pen their dogs, and Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to show these forgotten canines a little love,” Thayne said in the release.  “Every winter our rescuers see dogs that have frozen in the snow, suffered frostbite or otherwise endured horrific living conditions because of the longstanding misperception that it is ok to chain a dog outside in any kind of weather.”

The release also stated the group sends a coupon for a treat and a brochure for the dog’s caretakers with each Valentine, encouraging them to bring their dogs into the home and family or to release the dogs to loving inside homes and families.

The organization has sent thousands of valentine cards over the years, including nearly 20,000 in last year’s initiative alone. This year, the group hopes to reach 20,000.

Paull has been bringing the organizations Valentine initiative to Redwood School for eight years.

 “We do this because it is part of showing our heart at Redwood School,” Paull said at the event.

In addition to the card making, the students listened as Paull read a book entitled, “Buddy Unchained,” which is based on a true story and about a dog named Buddy who recalls his former life of mistreatment after he is rescued and happy in a new home.

All of the students will complete their Valentine by Jan. 27, as they will be shipped soon after to the organization so they can send them to the owners beginning Feb. 7.

For more information on the organization or if you would like to send a Valentine, visit the Dogs Deserve Website here.

Lawrence McAbee January 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM
"Your words do not fall on deaf ears" but now I am going to spend at least 5 blathering sentences showing that they fell on deaf ears. If dogmatically repeating the same thing over and over again won arguments, John would be king of the world. To sum up the rational position here: All people deserve respect, but not all positions deserve respect. Taking a feel good article about kids writing valentines to mistreated dogs and trying to turn it into a repeated diatribe against West Orange public schools, and dragging in abortion into the discussion represents a repulsive position which should have heaped upon it all the scorn it can carry.
Tom January 26, 2014 at 04:26 PM
I don't believe this was a feel-good story I believe it serves as a bellwether to West Orange's public schools... It is ironic that those who claim to be tolerant and that others are entitled to their opinions...suggest you move out... If you dare to disagree with them...
Lawrence McAbee January 26, 2014 at 04:55 PM
I love this move, it puts the crackpot in the position of being some brave, 'voice in the wilderness' hero, and everyone else becomes the problem. Here is what really happened: you and John took a nice story, and went so over the top with vitriol and nonsense that multiple people called you on it. Even the people who tried to be reasonable and polite were dismissed with the same nonsensical responses as me (who went the sarcastic route). Let me break this down: Winners: mistreated dogs, kids, and everyone who took the time to call out nonsense when they saw it. Losers: divisive politics, nonsense, and its allies.
Tom January 26, 2014 at 07:07 PM
Lawrence You suggest stage names of Cruel and Crueler Because someone disagrees with having West Orange schoolchildren sending St. Valentine letters to dogs and dog abusers during school hours. I have Watched you target Others for sometime now... Now you have to set your sights on me... You are an Internet bully And as I said before a clown
Melinda Stevens January 26, 2014 at 08:25 PM
Everyone, say what you would like about the article-everyone is entitled to their own opinion-however, please refrain from calling each other names directly or indirectly in these comments.

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