Courtesy of Heather Larkin

The Von Cramm Cooperative held a dog playing session to help students with their prelim stress and to raise money for PAWS in Andhra Pradesh, India. The program was a part of Procrastinate at the Straight.

March 1, 2018

Pets and Mental Health Event Raises Money for Animal Welfare Charity

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The Von Cramm Cooperative helped raise awareness for the Plant and Animal Welfare Society in Andhra Pradesh, India by giving students the chance to pet dogs and cats for stress relief.

Cornell Companions brought three animals to Willard Straight on Wednesday morning. Their roster included a Siamese rescue cat, a golden retriever and a black lab. The event was part of the program Procrastinate at the Straight. After they played with the animals, students had the option to donate to PAWS.

Heather Larkin, a graduate student who worked in rural Andhra Pradesh, India, initially proposed fundraising for the Plant and Animal Welfare Society to her housemates at Von Cramm.

“The rampant inequity in this area extends to the animals,” Larkin said. “PAWS Andhra Pradesh helps to target this inequity as a non-profit aimed at providing veterinary care to strays, and pet owners facing barriers to access.”

Pet Pets for Mental Health raised about $20, which will directly fund government veterinary hospital staff, a capture-and-release program to sterilize stray dogs and veterinary clinics in Andhra Pradesh, according to Larkin.

“Even 25 cents can go to purchase needles or worm medicines, so we greatly appreciate any and all donations,” Larkin said.

Pet Pets for Mental Health not only promoted the well-beings of animals, but also encouraged mental wellness for Cornell students. Willard Straight handed out free ice cream and hot chocolate to mitigate student stress during the recent round of prelims.