Animal Impact returns to operations with expanded goals for spring

By Faith Jarrell

Elm Staff Writer

Animal Impact, a club dedicated to helping animals in shelters, is making its return to campus this semester after COVID-19 caused the club to shut down operations.  

Animal Impact was an active organization on campus before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the club to pause operations in 2020. Animal Impact has since had its first returning meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. in Goldstein 100 of Louis L. Goldstein Hall.  

During the interest meeting, Animal Impact President and Washington College senior Emilee Cramer talked about the club’s goals and what she hopes to bring to the group. 

“Animal Impact traditionally has been a source of volunteer students for our local shelter,” Cramer said.  

The local shelter in Chestertown, which Animal Impact plans on working with, is the Animal Care Shelter of Kent County, formerly known as the Humane Society of Kent County. The ACSKC is located on Worton Road. 

WC sophomore Sarah Coverdale said that she attended the Animal Impact interest meeting hoping that the organization could bring “more awareness on all the animals in the shelter,” and hopefully get more volunteer work. 

Animal Impact’s previous officers included Sarah Collins ‘22, Asia Perez ‘22, and Mason Drummey ‘22, who all graduated from WC. Cramer, who had contact with former president Perez, said that she just “fell into” the position of club president and that without that, the club “would have fallen apart.” 

Cramer hopes to plan future trips to Queen Anne’s County and Caroll County shelters if possible.  

“I will absolutely not abandon our local shelter. That is definitely the biggest priority is to resume those activities. That was the original club purpose to my knowledge, so we’re going to be resuming that,” Cramer said.  

Along with that, Cramer hopes to work with other campus groups, such as Alpha Chi Omega Beta Pi, in order to blend Animal Impact into other aspects of the campus community.  

There are also plans for Animal Impact to take trips elsewhere, such as to the Cat Colloquium in Chestertown for some downtime and bonding with their animals. 

Although there are no other club officers yet, Cramer hopes to fix this.  

“I’m very quickly looking to find people to fill those shoes, because I care about it deeply,” Cramer said. “I care about those animals deeply and thereby the club as well. So we’re going to move fast.” 

Animal Impact also got a new faculty advisor, Chair and Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jennie Rinehimer. 

“When Emilee approached me to be the faculty advisor, I was very happy to step in. Animals can provide a great stress reliever and a sense of purpose when contributing to their care and well-being,” Dr. Rinehimer said. “I hope that Animal Impact can help animals in need through socialization, care, and other ways of supporting local and regional animal care organizations.” 

Despite their future expansion, the main goals of Animal Impact will stay true to what they were since Cramer joined the club when she was a freshman — to assist local animal shelters with adoption, socialization, and fundraising. 

Photo by Olivia Long

Photo Caption: The executive board hopes to collaborate more with other campus and off-campus groups this spring.

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