Alleman High School seniors remember the pets left behind after hurricane

Alleman senior Madeline Chambers and Marlene Wetherell, administrative assistant to the athletic department, cuddle with Bubbles -- a dog brought to the Quad Cities from hurricane-ravaged Texas by the groupo KY Kindness Rescue Inc. (Provided photo/Amy Finn)

ROCK ISLAND — Watching coverage of Hurricane Harvey, Alleman High School seniors Annalise Connolly and Madeline Chambers were moved by the devastation the storm left in its wake. Particularly troubling was that families had to leave their pets behind.

“They both have a soft spot for animals and dogs, in particular, so they felt terrible seeing that and they wanted to do something,” said Amy Finn, director of admissions and marketing at Alleman.

— Provided photo

They found a kindred spirit in Marlene Wetherell, assistant to the athletic director at the Rock Island school. She has a friend who fosters dogs for K9 Kindness Rescue Inc. in the Quad Cities and had made trips to Texas to get dogs that were left behind or stranded.

“What can we do to help this organization and help these people who are now fostering these dogs,” they wanted to know.

“When we heard they were coming to the Quad Cities, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to do our part and give back,” said Chambers.

With Wetherell’s help, they organized a jean and t-shirt day at Alleman, which raised $510. An anonymous donor offered to match what the students donated, up to $500, which enabled them to contribute $1,010 to K9 Kindness.

The students also invited their classmates to bring in items the stranded pups might need and they responded by contributing eight blankets, two boxes of Puppy Pads, dog food and dog toys.

Two of the dogs, Bubbles and Jackson, visited Alleman over the lunch hour Sept. 15 to offer their thanks.

“Even though we can’t be in Texas to help the hurricane victims, there’s always something small we can do to help back home,” said Connolly.

Related story: Catholic schools of Diocese of Peoria get creative in raising hurricane relief funds, prayers

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