Surrey students make a paws-itive difference

Kids at Mary Jane Shannon Elementary help a pooch hit by car.

Student entrepreneurs from Mary Jane Shannon Elementary got a lesson in business, kindness and compassion at the school’s recent Young Entrepreneurs Fair.

After making a profit of $260 on their various business initiatives, students voted to put 10 per cent of the proceeds to the Surrey-based non-profit, Saving Animals through Rescue and Adoption (SARA) Society, for the veterinary care of an injured dog. The money helped pay for surgery that ultimately prevented Preeka from losing her leg.

Preeka, a little white Havanese dog, stopped by MJ Shannon last week to “thank” students for their support. She scampered happily from student to student, tail wagging and licking any and all hands that reached for her.

“They were just so excited to meet her,” said teacher Charlotte Austin. “The room was bustling with pure joy. For some students, this was a really unique opportunity because they had never experienced having a pet.”

Preeka sustained a compound leg fracture and head trauma when she was hit by a car. Austin volunteers for the SARA Society, and when she shared Preeka’s story with students and their classroom teacher, Ann Baker, the entire class voted to assist.

In return, the SARA Society has offered to spay any mother cats owned by MJ Shannon families, in exchange for the surrender of their kittens, which SARA will then re-home.

“It was just a small donation that the kids made, but there is the larger and longer term benefit here of helping the community and learning respect and compassion for other living things,” says Austin.

Meanwhile, the SARA Society is always looking for support and donations, with a special request for any freezer-burnt meat that would otherwise be disposed of. Visit for more information.

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