Catawba students form Catawba Shelter Guardians

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2015

Shannon Garrick

Catawba College

In 2014, Shelter Guardians, a nonprofit organization in Rowan County and all-volunteer fundraising group, was founded by Nina Dix, a local dog behaviorist and trainer. The Shelter Guardians’ mission is to help provide the Rowan County Animal Shelter and their animals with resources, such as medical care, food, toys and any other needs while the animals await adoption.

The organization’s current goal, “Project Canine,” is to raise funds to build a new, larger shelter for the animals.

Shelter Guardians wants to involve the community and schools in Rowan County with efforts to raise funds to take care of the animals at the Rowan County Animal Shelter. Two of these groups are Catawba Shelter Guardians and Shelter Guardians Youth of Salisbury Academy.

Shelter Guardians Youth of Salisbury Academy has created art to donate for sale and has sold lemonade to help raise funds at events for Shelter Guardians.

In the spring of 2015, Dr. Cheryl Peevy, a Spanish professor at Catawba College, animal lover and volunteer with Shelter Guardians, and Amy Carlton, a senior Spanish major, wanted Catawba to become actively involved with Shelter Guardians. Together they formed the Catawba Shelter Guardians, incorporating the four core values of Catawba’s mission: Scholarship, Character, Culture and Service into the club’s goals.

The goals of the club include: volunteering for Shelter Guardian events (fundraisers, adoption fairs and clinics), sponsoring educational programs on campus about animal welfare and holding fundraising events for students on Catawba’s campus.

Since its creation, the club has participated in several Shelter Guardians events. Catawba Shelter Guardians took a tour of the shelter and its members were able to see the different kennels, rooms and how space is severely limited at the current location.

The second event was a rabies clinic held at the shelter, where the students helped fill out the paperwork for each dog and cat and learned about the importance of rabies vaccines. They were also able to play and interact with the animals at the clinic.

The club has also assembled and served meals for the Port-a-Pit BBQ that raised money for “Project Canine.”

Other events included assisting the Catawba College Staff Council with its annual “Furry Friends Drive” that accepted donations of various much-needed items for dogs and cats. The club members also volunteered at the Shelter Guardians Adoption Fair on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Uptown Dogs and Cats Grooming Salon.

Thus far, there are approximately 30 members, with many more eager to join. For more information, visit the Shelter Guardians page on Facebook or visit the Shelter Guardians homepage, For more information regarding Catawba Shelter Guardians, please email or .


Shannon Garrick is a member of the Catawba College class of 2017.