KLAWS carols to Castaic cats and dogs

Castaic Middle School Music director Daniel Chandler leads students from Castaic Middle School and West Ranch High School in a round of caroling at the Castaic Animal Shelter Thursday evening. December 19, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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As children sang their favorite Christmas carols at the Castaic Animal Shelter Thursday, animals joined in with their own chorus of barks and howls.

For the second time this school year, the Kids Loving Animals Within Shelters (KLAWS) club visited the northern Santa Clarita Valley shelter to socialize and engage with the animals held there.

While the previous event featured the children reading books to the animals, the event held within a week of Christmas had them singing songs with one another.

Castaic Middle School Music director Daniel Chandler leads students from Castaic Middle School and West Ranch High School in a round of caroling at the Castaic Animal Shelter Thursday evening. December 19, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“It’s a great opportunity for kids to love on animals, and for animals to feel the love from all of us,” said Nicole Price, Castaic Middle School vice principal.

Price said the book event had served a two-pronged effect: to comfort the animals while also improving upon the kids’ literacy skills. Price said this was the first time KLAWS had done caroling, and she hopes the kids had fun doing it.

The event kicked off with a performance from the CMS choir, with the students singing a variety of songs before the event officially began.

Students from Castaic Middle School and West Ranch High School visited the Castaic Animal Shelter Thursday night as part of an event organized by the Castaic Middle School KLAWS club. December 19, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Elizabeth Scrote, an 8th grader at Castaic Middle School who was also a member of the choir, said she was happy to be spending her time off from school helping the animals.

“I feel like you should give happiness to dogs or animals as you do to people,” Scrote said. “It’s nice.”

“The dogs and cats don’t have a family to spend their Christmas with so it’s a nice feeling for us to sing to them,” said Italia Ballestrasse, Scrote’s classmate and fellow choir member.

Anna Watson, another 8th grade choir member, said she likes to sing at school, so why wouldn’t she use her talent and love for music with the animals.

Amanda Roberts ties a stocking to a cage at the Castaic Animal shelter Thursday night as part of an event organized by Castaic Middle School’s KLAWS club. December 19, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“We’re singing to the dogs and cats because it’ll make them feel good and especially some of the backstories to the animals are really sad and it’ll just make them happier,” said Hailey Alicia, another choir member.

After the introduction the event and the singing from the choir, each person present was given 20-25 minutes to sing to the animals. There were seven to eight songs the charolers could choose from.

The event, run in conjunction with West Ranch High School and Drug Free Youth of Santa Clarita, also included the charolers placing stockings with letters inside of them on the cages of each of the animals.

The letters contained notes about the animals with the hopes that if someone was at the shelter looking to adopt, they would read the letter and be unable to walk away without taking a dog, cat or reptile home.

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