Target: Stephanie Zundel, Animal rights activist
Goal: Praise young animal rights activist Stephanie Zundel for receiving the Animal Welfare Federation’s Junior Hero Award
The Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey (AWFNJ) was created in 1995 and encourages the enforcement of animal cruelty laws, develops programs to improve the quality of care for animals, and serves as a resource to help solve common problems. The organization also serves as an information resource for animal welfare professionals throughout the state. Each year an award is given to a member of the youth community for their contribution to animal welfare. This year the recipient was Edison High School Senior Stephanie Zundel and she deserves our praise for all the work she has done for animals.
Among Stephanie’s contributions are her helpful efforts for volunteer organizations like the Edison Animal Shelter and her leadership of the EPAWS club at Edison High School. EPAWS members volunteer at shelters and hold monthly bake sales, clothing and toy drives that benefit Sammy’s Hope and other local animal welfare organizations. Perhaps most importantly, club members also attend community meetings at local elementary and middle schools to discuss their work at Sammy’s Hope and Edison Animal Shelter with the hope of influencing others, especially younger children.
It should be noted that Stephanie does this all despite the fact that she is blind. But it is likely her disability that led her down this path. She gets around with the help of a seeing eye dog named Marley who she describes as her soul mate. “I had to walk with a cane through a part of Morristown and, after I was matched with a guide dog, I had to walk the same path. I saw how different it was with the dog and how I felt much more confident,” she said. “With all of the love they give to us, we need to do all we can to help them.”
Her work isn’t going to stay in New Jersey either. Next year she is heading to Vanderbilt University to study speech pathology where she hopes to open an animal shelter. Please take a moment to sign the petition below to thank Stephanie for all of her incredible work and for being a powerful influence to other children in her community.
You recently received the Animal Welfare Foundation’s Junior Hero Award for your volunteer work. Your animal welfare resume is certainly impressive. From volunteering at local shelters to leading clubs at Edison High School, you have gone to great lengths to not only help animals, but also influence the lives of others in your community to help out.
Thank you for your contribution to animal welfare. The award was well deserved and I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Niki Dawson via Animal Welfare Foundation