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Smithsburg Girl Scouts go to bat for shelter pets

December 24, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

SMITHSBURG - Teenagers like Deann Diehl and Courtney Bowlus are often portrayed as thinking only of themselves, especially during the holiday season.

But these two 16-year-old Smithsburg High School juniors have been hard at work in recent weeks, trying to make sure that all the unadopted pets at the Humane Society of Washington County will get Christmas presents this year.

"We checked with the humane society to see if it would be all right, and they were happy to have us do this," Deann said.

With a little financial aid from her parents, Dennis and Doreen Diehl, Deann and her best friend, Courtney, purchased 22 Christmas stockings from Dollar General for the dogs at the shelter.

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"And I made 32 stockings for the cats who are there at the shelter," Courtney said.

The project - nicknamed Santa Paws - will further both girls' efforts to earn their Girl Scout gold awards.

Toys, treats and pet food were donated at a recent Girl Scout event and were used to fill the stockings.

On Saturday, Deann and Courtney delivered the stockings to the humane society on Maugansville Road.

After the holidays, Deann said work will begin on the next project - crate pads for a group called On the Rebound, a bulldog rescue group.

Both girls are members of Smithsburg Troop 647. They have been friends since kindergarten, and classmates and Girl Scouts from an early age.

"I got a flier at school and ran home to tell my mom that I wanted to go into Scouting," said Courtney, the daughter of Dwayne and Sue Bowlus.

Deann got involved because her sister was in Scouts and her mom, as well as Courtney's, helped with the troop.

"We were sort of drafted," Deann said with a smile.

After graduating from high school, Deann said she wants to continue her schooling with a goal of becoming a veterinarian.

Courtney is leaning toward medicine also, either with animals or in sports medicine.

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