The Future Farmers of America class at Heritage Middle School recently invited North Georgia Animal Alliance to come to their school to talk about animal rescue.

The FFA students joined forces with two other groups at the school – the National Honor Society and the Beta Club – to prepare a welcome surprise for the animal rescue.

NGAA volunteers Sara DeBerry and Dave Mayo arrived at HMS with two rescue dogs. "The dogs they brought," says Megan Shearer, HMS agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, "were not puppies. It was good for the students to see that older dogs can make good pets, too."

DeBerry and Mayo talked to around 75 students about rescue work, adopting animals and ways to help end the problem of abandoned animals. In exchange, the students presented NGAA with a large collection of animal supplies to help with their work.

"The students really loved seeing the dogs," says Mayo. "They were all interested in knowing their names, breeds, past history. We got all kinds of nice items donated: dog and cat collars, leashes, harnesses, toys, food and treats. Probably several hundreds of dollars worth of items and food. We are looking forward to doing more events like this. I think it helps the kids appreciate and empathize with the animals."

Shearer says that HMS students rise to the occasion when there’s a need. "This is the second year they’ve collected for NGAA. They also did a great job collecting for victims of Hurricane Harvey."

"We really appreciate the invitation and the support offered to NGAA from Heritage Middle School," says DeBerry. "The staff and the students were very welcoming to us. Both we and our animals enjoyed the experience."