Stillwater News Press

August 16, 2010

Making a Difference 8-15-10

Oklahoma State University student relieves stress by helping animals

By Silas Allen
sallen@stwnewspress.com

STILLWATER, Okla. — One afternoon in early August, Katie Gossett was crouched in a kennel and wrestling with a large brown dog. After several minutes of manhandling, the dog gave up and let Gossett trim his nails.

After finishing, Gossett stood up, brushed herself off and walked out of the dog’s cage.

“That’s one,” she said, and walked to the next in a row of about a dozen cages.

Gossett, an Oklahoma State University student, is a regular volunteer at Stillwater Humane Society. She generally handles the Humane Society’s dogs and cats and occasionally answers phones. On most Saturdays, she takes dogs from the shelter to a local pet store in the hopes of finding homes for them.

Occasionally, Gossett also takes the dogs home with her to train them and help them adjust to living in a home.

Gossett began volunteering at the Humane Society earlier this year, and said she’ll most likely keep doing it until she graduates in December. She adopted her dog, Tandy, from the shelter and said she hopes to train Tandy as a therapy dog.

Jackie Ross-Guerrero, the director of the Stillwater Humane Society, said Gossett is a valuable asset to the organization. Ross-Guerrero said she was impressed with Gossett’s ability to balance her schoolwork with her work at the shelter.

Although there’s plenty of work involved, Gossett said volunteering at the shelter is a kind of release for her. Playing with the dogs is a stress-reliever, she said.

Gossett is double majoring in political science and marketing and works part-time for OSU’s parking and transit service. She said she schedules all her classes in the morning so she can volunteer at the shelter in the afternoons.

“I make it a priority to come out here,” she said. “At this point, it’s just a part of my life.”

To nominate someone for Making a Difference, e-mail family@stwnewspress.com.