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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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‘Smooch a Pooch’

Photo courtesy of Jordyn Freeman

A student stands with a dog during PAWS annual “Smooch A Pooch” event in 2022. 

Texas A&M PAWS, or Pets Are Worth Saving, held its ‘Smooch a Pooch’ event on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Century Square as a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a furry friend.

PAWS is an all women organization with the goal of raising awareness and donating to the International Animal Rescue, their select philanthropy. On Valentines Day, PAWS hosted the event at the ‘Love is in the Square’ event in Century Square, bringing community members to come play with cute puppies and give them a ‘smooch’ at the kissing booth.

Community health senior and Vice President Jordyn Freeman said PAWS’s focal point is to give back to shelters and rescues, hoping to support many different animals and their well-being.

“We value all animals, no matter how big or small, and believe they all deserve loving homes,” Freeman said. “We exemplify this in our passion for service. Our members spend hours each week serving local rescues and working with a wide range of animals: dogs, cats, donkeys, goats, pigs, opossums and more.”

Along with the importance of service, the women in PAWS highly value community and knowing they are working together for a good cause. Animal science junior and treasurer Lynette Aelvoet said although their work is difficult, they all share a deeper connection which helps bring them together.

“One of my first service events with PAWS was going to St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary,” Aelvoet said. “We had to tear down this fence, [which] sucked, and it was hard. Sometimes we’re like, ‘Okay, I just want to give up,’ ‘I’m tired,’ but then you’re like, ‘Okay, no [we’re] doing it for the animals.’ We’re cheering each other on and we can do this. That’s what I love about the service events, even though it’s not a sisterhood event, you just need each other and you can depend on each other through tough times.”

Psychology junior and fundraising officer Tori Sacasa said ‘Smooch a Pooch’ is a recurring event and was created to raise funds for their mission.

“[The event is] actually kind of spearheaded by the fundraising,” Sacasa said. “It’s an event just to bring money in [and] all of the profits that come in from any fundraising event that I put on are donated. They’re donated to local animal shelters or the International Animal Rescue. The main goal for all the fundraising stuff we do is to get enough money to donate to as many places as we can and make an impact.”

Aelvoet said although this event has been done before, this year PAWS hopes collaboration with Century Square helped to attract more donors to raise money for the shelters and rescues.

“I would love to have more money to donate to local rescues,” Aelvoet said. “We’re trying to donate to a reptile farm, which is super weird and super different, something we haven’t done before. So I’m excited for people to hopefully donate and then hear about these small little rescues and sanctuaries.”

Freeman said even a small donation can be more of an impact than some may think.

“It feels amazing to be able to help animal rescues with their causes,” Freeman said. “And fun events such as ‘Smooch A Pooch’ allow us to do so. A small donation may not seem like much, but it goes a long way in saving animals’ lives.”

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About the Contributor
Sydnei Miles
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor
Sydnei Miles is a communication sophomore and journalism minor from Houston, Texas. She began reporting for The Battalion in the fall 2022 semester covering culture and community events happening on and around campus. Since January 2024, Sydnei has served as The Battalion's head Life & Arts editor and previously served as the assistant Life & Arts editor for some of the spring 2023 semester and for the fall 2023 semester.
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