The GCHS cheerleaders in action. The squad is collecting items for donation to the Greensburg-Decatur County Animal Shelter through Feb. 12. Call the Animal Shelter directly for details at 812-663-9081.

GREENSBURG – The Greensburg Pirate Cheerleaders are collecting fresh kitty litter, bleach, paper towels, Purina dog/cat food, and canned Friskies to benefit the furry guests at the Greensburg Decatur County Animal Shelter.

A group of young adults are taking time from practicing, learning, and growing to support a cause dear to many: care for our furry best friends.

Pet care is akin to child-rearing in many ways. The care and maintenance of another living creature is a most satisfying experience, despite all the money we invest in them. As the benefactors of our kindness, love and mutual support they are expected to react to us positively and return the affection. And fortunately for them, that is by their very nature, easy.

And when we ask too much of them, they know exactly how to alert us. And it’s that capability to communicate with us on a less than verbal level that endears them to us even more.

However, many in our society regard pets as “things” that can easily be “discontinued.” And to some, the care and feeding of a pet has become too great an expense and responsibility. And there are uncared for animals that roam the county, looking for shelter, sustenance and love.

Thus, the Greensburg Decatur County Animal shelter, even though they are government supported, is in great need.

Under Ashley Hennen’s direction, now-departed Animal Tech Matt Spear created a very active social media presence to speed up a furry friends’ stay at the shelter, but the increased activity has created a greater need. Filling Matt’s shoes ably is Megan Thomas. And an extra pair of available hands currently are Nicole Paetzel’s.

And the Animal Shelter Board is a terrific, supporting and engaged.

“We are just overjoyed that the GCHS Cheerleaders are doing this,” said Hennen. “When groups from the community support us, it’s just a win-win for all.”


This is a group that thinks and cares, and makes decisions based on reality and personal experience. The conversations they have while practicing their formations are insightful and deep, but they rarely distract from the work-at-hand, because they are a unified team. And the team members have confidence in themselves, and in each other.

And so, in typical Greensburg fashion, they have decided to make a difference.

“Our coach actually came up with the idea of a drive for the Animal Shelter,” said Co-Captain Olivia Howard. “And they are always looking for volunteers, because there has to be someone there to take care of all those animals.”

“And I just want to take them all home,” said Koregan Kidd.

The Need

Even though the best gift to the Animal Shelter would be energetic and concerned volunteers able to devote some time at the Shelter, a donation of money is always a good way to care for the animals there.

“When Matt was here, we almost tripled our adopting numbers, so we have asked for an additional $15,000. But that’s just a start. We have some immediate needs right now as well,” Hennen said.

“We need clumping and non-clumping kitty litter,” Hennen advised. “Computer paper, hand sanitizer, and leashes are in great demand. I had to order 150 leashes. We’ve adopted out so many animals.”

From 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19, Arby’s will be donating a percentage of their sales to the Greensburg Decatur County Animal Shelter.

“And we’ll have pictures of all the animals there, too,” Hennen said.

Money is always appreciated.

But if giving a tangible gift is appropriate, the preferred dog and cat foods should always be Purina brand, please. Keeping them fed on a single brand is good for their health and good for their little furry tummies.

The GCHS Cheerleader Squad is Olivia Howard, Koregan Kidd, Hunter Koors, Daimon Austin, Megan Schlemmer, Emma Workman, Jolena Hunter, Delilah Collins, Mallori Noah, Tristen Hamer, Marissa Mehan, Kendall Ramer, India Benefiel and Madison Troville.

There will be a donation drop-off, for those not familiar with a member of the GCHS Cheer Team. Bring donations to the Main Entrance of GCHS from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Feb.12.

Questions? Email or call 812-663-9081.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email

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