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Cookies for a cause

They come in four flavors, shaped like candy canes or hearts, and are edible for humans and pets alike. They are the feature of Castleton’s Alternative Spring Break club’s latest fundraiser: homemade pet treats. They come in peanut butter and chicken flavors for dogs, and tuna or salmon flavors for cats.

The group is raising money for the club’s trip to New Orleans this spring, where the group will volunteer at a local animal shelter, said Kasey Benthin, the club’s advisor.

Animal Rescue New Orleans, where the group plans to volunteer, is a no-kill shelter that takes in abandoned animals. The shelter took in many animals following the devastation brought to the area by Hurricane Katrina. The shelter then experienced more recent damage caused by hurricane Gustav, which destroyed some of the facilities, Benthin said.

Sam Greeno, one of the club’s student leaders, is excited for the challenge.

“We are willing to do what we need to,” Greeno said.

“Even if it means sleeping on the floor,” said the club’s other student leader Sarah Pearl.

The 14 students going on the trip expect to feed, walk, and bathe the animals in the shelter, Greeno said, but they don’t know exactly what their work will entail.

“I’m just excited about the community service,” Greeno said.

In the club’s history, students have been to New Orleans twice: once to help clean up after Hurricane Katrina and again with Habitat for Humanity. But they have never volunteered in an animal shelter, said Jan Rousse an advisor to the club.

The club leaves March 27 for New Orleans. But until then they are focusing their efforts on fundraising. In years past the trip has been completely covered by fundraising and Greeno hopes this year will be the same.

The club is planning a raffle and it will be selling homemade exfoliating sugar scrubs, selling candy cane Christmas grams for the holidays, and hosting Rail Jam, a snowboarding contest, Pearl said.