Abigail Loupe is a senior at Mount Carmel Academy with a love of animals. She is a member of Mount Carmel’s Pets Are Worth Saving Club and volunteers two to three times a week at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO).

For Loupe, every adoption is a rewarding experience, but recently she had a new experience with a neglected Siamese kitten. Loupe was asked to sit with the kitten that had been previously neglected. She was told that ARNO wanted to spoil the kitten with affection, so Loupe wrapped herself and the kitten in blankets to make a small cave so the kitten wouldn’t be bothered by the light. After a while, Loupe noticed that the kitten wouldn’t meow or make any other sounds, no matter who was taking care of her. She decided that it was her mission to get the kitten to meow.

Each volunteer was asked to sit with the kitten for about 15 minutes, but Loupe accidently sat with her for 45 minutes. “In that time, she started kneading my arm, which is a very good sign that shows us that she’s content, she snuggled up in my lap and purred,” says Loupe. “But what was most important to me was that a few times during that time span, she had opened her mouth again to have a tiny squeak come out.”

Loupe started thinking about the little Siamese kitten and all of the other animals she helped find a “furever” home. She feels as if she gained a second family and second home through volunteering. Even though she primarily works with animals, she has learned what it means to be a human.

“By seeing animals both pampered and mistreated by current owners or strangers on the street, I’ve been able to see the good and bad side of people. But in seeing all of these animals finding places where they belong, I’ve felt a sense of justice and faith in humanity,“ she says.

Loupe enjoys reading, writing and learning new things. At Mount Carmel Academy, she’s vice president of the broadcast journalism club (WMCA) and is involved in Prep Quiz Bowl, Academic Games and the drama Club, STK. Even though Loupe is still applying to colleges, she plans to volunteer with rescue groups and animal shelters wherever her path takes her. She wants to find a way to use her major to help animals in some way – whether it be creating a healthier dog food or being a free tech support for nonprofit animal shelters.