Students build pet homes

Students Build Pet Homes
**Embargoed to Fort Smith- Fayetteville- Springdale- Rogers AR** Students at Northside High School are giving back to the community by building animal shelters for those who need them.

FORT SMITH, Ar. (KPMT) — Students at Northside High School in Fort Smith are giving back to the community by building animal shelters for those who need it.

The students became inspired after seeing a post on social media of a dog left outside in the rain.

Students in Ken Fletcher’s construction technology class work on several projects that include woodworking.

The demand for the shelters went up after a community member contacted Fletcher wanting one for a neighbor’s dog.

“It was kind of a dire situation. He didn’t have any place to stay out of the weather,” said Fletcher.

The owners of the dog were thrilled by the gift.

“They were shocked that we were doing this out of the blue. They didn’t really know that it was coming, but once we got it placed, they were very thankful and very excited,” Fletcher told 5NEWS.

While that was a donation, the students also sell dog and cat houses to pay for materials and provide funding to compete in competitions.

“I think it’s a pretty good idea because we’re helping a lot of people out and they don’t really cost a lot. So, people that don’t really have a lot of money can come and get one, and they don’t have to spend a lot of money on one,” Tyler Becker, a senior at Northside High School, said.

The students in Fletcher’s class say they enjoy working with their hands, and the skills they’ve learned will help them later in life.

“It makes us feel a whole lot better knowing that we’re actually doing this for people that need them,” Nicholas Cole, a senior at Northside High School, said. “I love doing it. Just seeing people be happy, it just makes you feel good.”

Fletcher calls it a great feeling knowing his students have learned a valuable lesson, and pets have a well-constructed, warm, and safe place to live.

“It is very gratifying to me to see them realize that they’re doing something that they’re not getting paid for. This is just something we’re doing because it needs to be done,” Fletcher said.

Next up, the students will be competing in the SkillsUSA Competition in Hot Springs this April.

If you would like to buy a dog or cat house from Mr. Fletcher and his class, you can send him a text at 479-252-0516.

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