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After-school program gives tweens a chance to help animal shelter

In New York City, girls are given a chance to become leaders and social assets in their community by participating in Paw Pal - an after-school program run by Unleashed, a non-profit organization. Paw Pal enables girls of the inner-city to help out sheltered dogs by sending out toys and letters to the animals, NY Daily News reports.

Each girl in the program chose their favorite dog from a selection of photos and descriptions. Once a girl chooses a dog, she's asked to a write a letter and include in a package with treats, toys and a sample of her scent so that when the dog meets her, he'll recognize her.

Meeting the dogs was an ultimate treat for Lucy, a 12-year-old involved with the program. She told the news source, "These dogs had been through a lot. I felt blessed that I could physically meet him, give him lots of treats, play with him and let him know that [someone] cared about him and wanted him to be happy."

The American Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that every year five to seven million animals enter a shelter.
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