The Potter League of Middletown, RI is one of the most astounding animal shelter facilities in the East Coast region, providing top tier medical care for all its animals, a variety of educational programs, and rehoming hundreds of pets each year. Their dedication to rescuing and rehoming dogs, cats, and small animals is a rigorous and continuous process, so they are in constant need of volunteers, and that’s where Ava found the perfect opportunity to make a difference in her community.

Ava Cafasso, who is in the Class of 2026, jumped right into public service starting with the Salve Service Plunge, then becoming a Service Advocate for the Potter League and contributing to various community service tasks with the Office of Student Engagement and Service. Additionally, she is in the Pell Honors Program and Finance, Yoga, and Multicultural club.

In the brief time Ava has volunteered at the Potter League, she has continually been amazed at the dedication and passion each staff member has for their cause. She has previously worked at Lighthouse animal shelter in New Bedford, Massachusetts as well as working with dogs in Lakeville, and has always been involved with animals’ whether that be dogs, cats, or horses.

According to the ASCPA, there are about 6.5 million stray animals in America alone annually, with just under a million animals being euthanized due to overcrowding and lack of resources in shelters. Many of these animals are the result of rehoming issues, natural disasters, general neglect, and an abundance of unneutered and unspayed strays intermingling. The sheer number of homeless pets is too great for just shelters to take on alone, so learning about local volunteering efforts, donations, and shelter events are crucial to support and raise awareness of shelter pets.

Do your part to curb the number of homeless pets in your area and adopt, don’t shop. Millions of pets need homes every year, and unfortunately many of them do not ever get those families they deserve. Breeding only adds to the massive surplus of homeless animals and overwhelms the chances of shelter pets being adopted.

If you would like to become involved with the Potter League, they have many options for volunteering regardless of age, gender, occupation, or capabilities. They offer many programs, such as Pets for Patriots which helps U.S. military veterans find their perfect pet, as well as provide discounts for adoption fees and other expenses. The Potter League is a one stop shop for adopting, training, education, service, and the cutest pets in all of Rhode Island, so if you are in the area, don’t be afraid to stop by (and you might come home with your new best friend.)