When Humane Society of Harford County volunteer Pamela Cobo reached out to Harford County Public Schools expressing a need for toys for the dogs at the facility, HCPS physical educators were happy to respond to the request.

Six Harford County public schools — Aberdeen High, Aberdeen Middle, Bel Air High, Center for Educational Opportunity, Edgewood Middle and Hickory Elementary — agreed to support the organization with a donation of balls for their furry friends.

“Volunteering with the dogs at the Humane Society of Harford County is one of the most satisfying things I do with my free time,” said Cobo. “I am so grateful to HCPS for agreeing to share their used basketball and soccer balls with the pups. I hope to be able to continue this collaboration for many years to come.”

Physical educators at each of the schools took inventory of their athletic balls and gathered the ones that were unusable, and would have otherwise been disposed of, to donate to the Humane Society. Students helped collect and bag the balls for the donation.

In addition, the donation was a great lesson for students on repurposing items and thinking outside of the box about ways to help in the community. Basketballs and soccer balls — more than 50 in total — are now being put to good use by the dogs who currently call the Humane Society home.

“Daily walks and physical activity, such as playing with a soccer ball or basketball, provide dogs with physical and mental stimulation,” said Cat Kelly, shelter operations director at the Humane Society. “Playtime at the shelter has an important role in relieving boredom and stress, which can make a major difference in a dog’s daily life.”

The Humane Society of Harford County Inc. is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to the welfare and well-being of the approximately 3,000 animals that come to them each year. They promote the kind treatment of homeless, stray and abandoned animals by providing shelter, care, adoptions and community education. Tax-deductible donations, bequests and proceeds from events are crucial to their life-saving efforts on behalf of the animals.

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