The senior class at Henry Clay High School has raised more than $650 to help a dog that was found last month with an obscenity burned into her skin.
Senior class sponsor Becky Riley, a science teacher at the school, suggested the service project to the class officers after hearing the story of Felicity, an 8-month-old pit bull mix being cared for by the Lexington Humane Society.
An animal control officer found the dog tied to a fence in front of a residence on Campbell Street last month. She had scarring and scabby areas on her hindquarters forming a four-letter word that is thought to have been created with chemical burns.
Riley said the students put up flyers around the school. They collected money during a parent open house last week and from faculty and students, easily exceeding their goal of $500.
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"It was a horrible story," said senior Alex Warren, 17. "It got me right in the heart."
Warren gathered $92 in his bucket during the open house.
"I have two dogs and a cat of my own," he said. "If anything like that happened to them, I would look for help from my community."
On Tuesday afternoon, a group of students took the money to the humane society and were able to meet Felicity. The funds will help replenish the organization's Second Chances program, which is providing surgery to remove the obscenity.
The surgery had been scheduled for earlier this month but had to be put on hold because Felicity got a cold, said Ashley Hammond, development manager for the humane society.
An adoptive owner has been selected for Felicity, Hammond said. She said it is a man who had previously adopted a pit bull from the humane society who "rose to the top of the list."
"She has a wonderful home lined up," Hammond said.
Riley said that she hopes people will step forward to take in other animals in need.
"I have a rescued pit bull," she said. "She's really the best dog that I've ever had."