Mt. Ararat Middle School students pitched in to raise money for this year’s Happy Howlidays fundraiser for Midcoast Humane Society. Pictured (from left) are Meg Marks (Student Council adviser), Izabella Lampert, Charlotte Crowe, Josie Petrie, Jess Townsend (shelter’s executive director), Sheldon Pennell and Will Agius. Photo contributed by Midcoast Humane

As part of its first Happy Howlidays fundraising event, the Mt. Ararat Middle School Student Council donated funds to Brunswick’s local animal shelter on Friday, just in time for Christmas.

Midcoast Humane Society Executive Director Jess Townsend said all donations are valuable, but “there’s something extra special when kids raise money for us.”

“I love when kids get involved with nonprofits and shelters in particular; today’s kids are tomorrow’s adults,” Townsend said. “Incorporating empathy, understanding and involvement toward displaced pets into childhood learning is so valuable for their futures and our community as a whole.”

The Topsham-based middle schoolers spent the month of December collecting donations during their lunch period as part of the school’s “penny wars” competition to see which grade could raise the most.

“This fundraiser is important to the Student Council because they want to actively support our community,” said Mt. Ararat Middle School student adviser Meg Marks. “The members of the MAMS Student Council have big hearts!”

The $550 donated to the shelter will go toward the care of 112 animals currently up for adoption, Townsend said.

Caring for animals from the day they arrive until they are adopted costs the shelter, on average, $500 for dogs and $300 for cats. This includes their core vaccines, spaying or neutering, microchipping, and staff to care for them, according to Townsend.

“The holidays in the shelter are my favorite time of year,” she said. “We have so many lovely families looking to adopt, donate and thank our staff for what they do. We adopt more pets out this time of year than any other.”

Comments are not available on this story.