Sarah Seyler is a junior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School and primarily focuses on rescuing animals in New Orleans.

Seyler works with Animal Rescue New Orleans, a private no-kill animal shelter formed after Hurricane Katrina with a mission to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home thousands of animals still roaming the streets of New Orleans.

“Animals that have been abused, neglected and abandoned come through the shelter’s doors every day. I am constantly amazed at their capacity to love after being so mistreated. Earning their trust and showing them humans aren’t threats makes every day all the more special,” she says.

Seyler participated in the Mystic Krewe of Barkus, a dog-centered parade during Mardi Gras. She volunteered by manning a table and providing information about Animal Rescue New Orleans’ mission. “I was proud to represent ARNO and help share the shelter with others. ARNO’s task is a difficult one, and I hope that after hearing about the shelter, others will spare some time to aid the rescue.

“I believe that at every available opportunity we should make an effort to get involved in the community,” she continues. “Not only is volunteering extremely rewarding, it also provides the opportunity to meet amazing people and touch the lives of those around us. We can learn so much and receive so much from members of our community – all we need to do is reach out and try to give something in return.”

Through volunteering, Seyler has gained respect for the men and women who dedicate their lives fighting for the well-being of animals. She has felt the love and support from different volunteers. “I have gained a newfound sense of determination to fight for these animals. I have a purpose and a way to channel my blessings to help others – humans, cats or dogs.”

Other than volunteering, Seyler is very active in the animal world in her personal life. She rides horseback at a barn in Covington and is a kennel attendant at Metairie Small Animal Hospital. Seyler hopes to continue spreading awareness about the plight of animals on the streets of New Orleans and in other places. She also wants to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or conservation research.