High school students from Nease High School are doing life-saving work for local animals through fund-raising.
The St. Augustine Humane Society has received another generous donation of volunteer time and effort from Nease High School’s “Panthers for Pets”, a student run organization.
According to Jason Lee, a Nease High School junior and International Baccalaureate (IB) student, and president of the civic club, Panthers for Pets, the group’s members and friends held a car wash and dog wash for donations on Feb. 25 at 1665 Moultrie Road in St. Augustine, Fla.
The total donations raised include approximately $980 with a portion of the funds to be dedicated to a hip operation for Sergio, a local six-year-old Brussels Griffon who has been diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. Sergio’s left hip is crushed and fragmented, and local veterinarian Dr. Gary Shelton has offered to perform surgery for a reduced fee. Dr. Shelton will operate on the left hip first and Sergio will rehab for about six weeks, and then the right hip will be operated on when additional funding is secured.
Additionally, Humane Society supporters have covered the funding for Sergio’s weekly injections to lubricate his hip joints and a daily dose of medication for pain relief. Sergio’s monthly medical costs are approx $200. Sergio is currently with his foster mom, but is available for adoption after surgery. He will need the time to rehabilitate and find a happy home. He is an extremely social, friendly, and loving dog.
“We are so appreciative of Panthers for Pets efforts on our behalf and for Sergio, so the dog can hopefully live a pain free life that will include walks, going up stairs and playing. These things are very hard for him right now. Plus, he will no longer need these medications after the surgery,” said Carolyn Smith, St. Augustine Humane Society’s Operations Director
According to Lee, the club will continue to assist animals that are in need of love and food by raising money, collecting food, and providing services that pets may need. Lee founded Panthers for Pets because there were no clubs at school which served to help pets and their owners in St. Johns County. Susan Szczepanik, Nease High School’s Advanced Placement (AP) history teacher oversees the student run program. For more information, contact PanthersForPets@gmail.com or Jason.Lee@kobridge.com.
The St. Augustine Humane Society works to reduce the relinquishment rate of pets to shelters through various assistance programs. The goal of the non-profit is to keep pets in loving homes instead of surrendering to a temporary shelter for housing, and to prevent euthanasia. For more information, call 904.829.2737. Visit the website for more information at