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The Scarlet & Black

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Michael Lozada
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PALS at full capacity, needing volunteers

Evan Hein
The Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS) located at 4167 20th St. recently hit full capacity.

The Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS) is currently at capacity, meaning that without more volunteers and resources, they cannot accept any more animals at this time. Shannon Foreman, outreach manager and sole full-time PALS employee, said, “We don’t have a lot of funds. We don’t have a lot of resources to help with behavioral issues. We try to, and the staff do it on their own, but it’s very time-consuming.” 

Tucked away on gravelly 20th St. in Grinnell, the PALS building has been open for fifteen years. Foreman joined the team two years ago, leaving a 30-year career in childcare behind. “It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made,” she said. 

Foreman, who has five dogs herself, said she has been happy to work over 40-hour weeks because her love for the animals keeps her motivated. “They all need a chance to have [an] amazing life and be able to find a forever home that they can be loved in,” she said. 

PALS currently houses 18 dogs and 38 cats, but Foreman said they could accept more animals if they had more volunteers. There are two paid part-time workers and five regular volunteers whom PALS relies upon to socialize with and take care of the animals. Foreman added that volunteers can choose which tasks they would like to perform, from socializing with the cats to cleaning the kennels. 

A volunteer shares an embrace with one of the dogs at the shelter. (Evan Hein)

Lucia Pasquariello `23.5 volunteered at PALS during her first year and has again this semester. “I love animals so much, and I just wanted to be around them, and also I was kind of going through a rough patch this semester, so animals can be very healing for me,” she said. For Pasquariello, volunteering at PALS has always been “really fun and really fulfilling.”

Both Pasquariello and Foreman gushed over Johnny, a black-and-white dog who has been at the shelter for over a year, making him the shelter’s longest resident. Foreman said, “Johnny definitely has made a huge imprint. It’s definitely going to be hard if he ends up going.”

Nic Grofsorean `24 adopted a black cat from PALS last September. “I don’t think I could’ve asked for anything better with PALS,” he said. “They just have a clearly very strong sense of care for all the animals. There was never a moment where I doubted their commitment to what they do.”

Grofsorean said that after visiting the shelter a few times, “I had an opportunity to step back to really, truly consider what all goes into adopting an animal.” After determining he had the time and resources to give, Grofsorean adopted Azula, a one-eyed cat whom he originally saw as standoffish. “I felt like it would be nice to offer her a space where she would be comfortable,” he said. 

Foreman said that all animals receive baseline vaccinations, and a microchip and are spayed or neutered before adoption. Additionally, PALS is a cruelty-free shelter. “As long as they need to stay here, they’ll stay here,” said Foreman. 

As of now, the cruelty-free shelter houses 18 dogs and 38 cats. (Evan Hein)

Pasquariello said she would have liked to volunteer more, but “the roadblock I experienced was getting there.” During her first year in 2019, Pasquariello said the College provided transportation for her and a few other students to get to the shelter. Foreman said that despite many college students expressing interest in volunteering, “the rideshare doesn’t come out this far, so it would be amazing if we could get something set up … I feel bad that they can’t get out here and help because they really want to and the more help we have, the better for us.”

Anyone interested in volunteering at PALS can fill out a form on their website at

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About the Contributors
Allison Moore
Allison Moore, Staff Writer
Allison is a fourth-year gender, women's, and sexuality studies major from Granville, Ohio. In her spare time, she can be found crafting, cooking, and cuddling with her kitten, Koda. If you think her mini crossword is too hard, then too bad.
Evan Hein, Staff Photographer
Evan is a second-year psychology major from Kansas City, Kansas. He once had to ask his friends to describe him in one word for a psych project. 33% of the twenty-five descriptive responses were the word “ginger,” followed by a small chortle.
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