DelVal Students and Animal Lifeline to Help in WV

Apr 17, 2008

For the third time this year, Delaware Valley College students, accompanied by several DelVal alumni and faculty members, will work with the dog warden and animal rescue advocates in one of the poorest counties in West Virginia with its stray and un-neutered animal population. They will be in Ivydale, (Clay County), WV, Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20.

The students' journey is part of Animal Lifeline, a Doylestown organization that supports animal rescues, shelters and municipalities that advocate for homeless animals with the purpose of saving lives through donations, fundraising and hands-on activities.

During their visit, students will travel across the state picking up dogs that need to be spayed or neutered whose owners have no other means of getting the animal to a proper facility for the procedure. In addition, they will be caring for the animals in their recovery before transporting them home and instructing their owners on their care. They will also build fences and shelters for the animals to eliminate the need for "tie outs," and they will deliver donated supplies, including dog and cat food, toys, medical supplies and dog houses/shelters. In addition, the group will complete a renovation and moving project they began earlier this year when they worked on a new facility for the area's animal shelter.

The students will be accompanied on the trip by Bryna Donnelly, an assistant professor of biology, and alumni Jeff Christ and Max Russick. Some of the students are athletes and members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. The six students going on the trip include: senior volleyball players, Bonnie Zobel of Southampton, PA, who is majoring in biology and Jacyln Holdsworth of Dumont, NJ, majoring in animal biotechnology and conservation with a major in small animal science; junior volleyball player Caitlin Klish of Mountain Top, PA, also majoring in biology; junior softball player, Christine Yacco of Kinnelon, NJ, majoring in animal biotechnology and conservation with a major in animal behavior training and enrichment; junior soccer player, Emily Perryman of Hamilton NJ, majoring in animal biotechnology and conservation with a major in small animal science and junior Daria Fahrenkrug of Flushing, NY, majoring in animal biotechnology and conservation with a major in zoo science.

"Working to spay and neuter animals complements DelVal's hand-on learning philosophy and benefits student learning, while also instilling a sense of community to our students, who, like the rest of us, don't always make the time to volunteer once they are in their professional lives," said Valerie Rice, DelVal's head athletic trainer and a board member of Animal Lifeline.

"Because of Dr. Donnelly and her efforts to mobilize our students, the response has been encouraging," added Rice. "So much so that one of our goals is to create an Animal Rescue Club on campus to provide even more support to organizations like Animal Lifeline and to animals in similar circumstances to the animals in Clay County," she added.

For more information about the trip or Animal Lifeline, contact Valerie Rice at