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Fairbanks Girl Scouts help make shelter more comfortable for dogs

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Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011 4:12 am | Updated: 1:45 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

FAIRBANKS — More than a dozen young girls crowded into the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Animal Shelter lobby Wednesday evening and presented 34 dog beds to the supervisor, surpassing all expectations.

During the past few months, the 14 members of Junior Girl Scouts Troop 175 have been working on the community service project to help out animals at the shelter.

“We really came up with a lot,” said Troop Leader Margret Heindl, mother of two scouts. “I was hoping about one per girl,” but some of the scouts came up with as many as four dog beds. The scouts’ ages range from 8 to 12 years old.

One Scouts’ mother, Melissa Shippey, was searching around for ideas to help the girls get their Bronze Awards, the highest award for Junior Girl Scouts. She called Carol Kleckner with the Second Chance League because the girls wanted to help animals. The league is a group of mushers who help find homes for huskies in the area.

“I threw out a bunch of suggestions,” Kleckner said. When she brought up sewing dog beds for the animal shelter, that idea stuck.

“They had just gotten their sewing badge,” she said. Beds made perfect sense.

The beds are made from hand-me-down blankets, quilts or sleeping bags. Some sturdy quilt batting inside two pieces of fabric completed the beds.

Kleckner was also surprised by the number of beds the girls made.

“It just brought tears to my eyes” after reading an e-mail from Heindl, she said. “These girls just went above and beyond.”

On Wednesday, two garbage bags stuffed full of beds made operations supervisor Sandy Klimaschesky happy.

“This really helps us at the shelter a lot,” she told the girls.

Klimaschesky then gave the troop a tour of the shelter. In the dog kennels, girls saw the dogs who would be snuggled up in their beds in the future.

Contact reporter Reba Lean at 459-7523.

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