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Senior collects presents for pound pets
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Manteca High senior George Dadasovich and city animal control officer Cindy Schick hold just a couple of many donated items for dogs and cats in the kennels as part of the student’s senior project effort — a pet giving tree. - photo by GLENN KAHL
The love for animals by one Manteca High School student has brought countless donations to the city animal control shelter this month.
MHS senior George Dadasovich has tailored his senior class project to help animals — dogs and cats — that are housed in the Wetmore Street pound.
The youth distributed flyers he had printed at stores around the community from Wal-Mart to Pet Smart and Pet Barn asking for the public’s help with the current need for blankets, dog food, dog bones, squeaky toys and cat litter.
Animal control sergeant Cindy Schick said she was awed by the response from the Manteca community in bringing their donations into the kennel’s office.
The campaign was carried forward with a Christmas tree — a giving tree suggested by Schick — with ornaments located on the counter of the animal shelter.  
People were asked to take an ornament if they cared to make a donation and purchase what was listed on that ornament -- returning it with their name and address added to the back.
One woman came in to make a donation and ended up adopting a Chihuahua from one of the kennels.
Most of the items were things the city doesn’t buy on its dog food budget — treats and toys.  There was a Pup-Peroni treat along with chewies in a Christmas stocking, rope toys and boxes of dog biscuits amounting to hundreds of dollars.
Dadasovich has a soft spot for animals and has had many of them at his home from chickens to dogs and cats.  But it was just last year that one of his dogs bit him on the foot when he was wrestling with another dog at home — the animal didn’t realize he was just playing.  He said he had to go to the hospital and they glued the wound together.
Schick said she plans to educate the MHS student on animal services before he completes his time at the shelter.
His senior project requires some 15 hours of community service working at the animal shelter cleaning and sanitizing kennels.