Whether it's decorating bed covers for the cats, or helping train the dogs with treats, a group of elementary school students from Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy in Alexandria is dedicated to improving the lives of homeless animals.
The students call themselves the Animal Crusaders and they're regular volunteers at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
“I'm helping them find homes and making them better habitats where they are right now,” says Animal Crusader Linnea Bow.
Sometimes, the Animal Crusaders make toys for cats. They even read to the animals.
The shelter says the animals directly benefit from this interaction with the children.
“It's good to introduce animals and children together because animals get used to having children around and become more adoptable to families,” says Youth Volunteer Coordinator Lindsay Halgerson.
And the students are learning the rewards of giving back a lesson they're apparently sharing with their friends.
“They love the animals and are excited to come and want to help and telling their friends about animal crusaders and that's the best thing,” says teacher Anne Marie Harris-White.