High school student creates unique fundraiser to save animals from high-kill shelters

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CUBA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Southern Tier high school student is helping to save cats and dogs from high-kill animal shelters. Christianna Reynolds is a senior at Cuba-Rushford High School, and is busy applying to schools and scholarships, but she’s finding the time to help a cause that she is extremely passionate about.

Reynolds volunteers every week at Joyful Rescues, a non-profit animal rescue group in Cuba, and wanted to create a fundraiser to help the shelter.

Joye Turock and her husband started the shelter 18 years ago, and in that time, they’ve helped save and adopt out about 11,000 animals. Most of the animals they shelter are from high-kill shelters down south. But to retrieve just 10-20 animals, it costs $500 for that trip… so that’s where Christianna Reynolds comes into play.

“It was amazing, we didn’t know she was doing this,” Turock said. “We were totally shocked.”

Reynolds has been volunteering with the shelter for about four years. She’s even adopted two cats from Joyful Rescues.

“My main focus is if there’s a cat that is in there that’s scared, won’t come near me, or hisses at me, my main purpose is that I have to get them accustomed to humans,” Reynolds said. “And I have done that with quite a few cats so far.”

She has a deep, deep love for these animals. And with the help from her mom, who’s a landscape photographer, she made calendars and sold them to teachers, friends and others in the community. She ended up raising $1,200 in the fundraiser, which will help save up to 40 more animals.

“My inspiration was my cat Lucy, who we adopted from Joyful Rescues,” Reynolds said.” She was on one of those save transports last Spring, and knowing that she could have been put down just absolutely broke my heart and I knew I had to prevent other animals from being in that situation.”

If you’re interested in adopting from Joyful Rescues, click here. If you’d like to donate to the cause, click here.

“We try to get to those high kill shelters to give the animals a life they deserve,” Reynolds said.

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