By Cory Johnson
At age 14, Jackson Bauer shares many interests with his classmates while he’s involved with football, swimming, track, and the youth group at St. Casper’s Catholic Church, However, Bauer has been determined to go above and beyond to give back to the furry friends he holds a fondness for.
Just recently, Bauer completed his project for the rank of Eagle Scout- the highest award Scouting offers with only 5 percent of Scouts across the nation ever achieving the pinnacle Bauer is set to earn before his fifteenth birthday. The project, completely planned and led by Bauer, came together in about a three month time period and consisted of building elevated PVC pipe beds for the dogs housed at the Fulton County Humane Society.
While he borrowed the start from an online blueprint, the dimensions were made to fit the specific housing units in the humane society with the care put into each one also all his own. “I’m a pretty big animal lover and hearing that the Fulton County Humane Society opened up again, I knew they would need some kind of help being a non-profit organization,” Bauer said of what sparked the idea. Once Bauer translated his passion into the project, the community responded. The PVC pipe and screws required for the beds were completely donated by ACE Hardware of Wauseon while the nylon mesh fabric (made to be replaceable when worn out) was funded by community donations.
Manpower for the project came from 17 volunteers, made up of scouts of Boy Scout Troop 8 and relatives of Bauer. In just his share alone, however, Jackson has logged 55 hours between the planning and production to see the project come to life. Prior to the project, many of the animals had only a blanket on a concrete floor to rest in, which is a reason Steve Wanner, executive director of the humane society, is so pleased with the project. “I thought it was great. I thought that was really considerate (of Bauer),” Wanner said.
Making the project even more impactful is that the Fulton County Humane Society is still in its infancy in their location. Steve and Tracy Wanner bought the building from an April auction and opened it up to house animals in July.
A goal of the project is to better serve the organization’s mission of “taking animals that are unwanted and turning them into adoptable pets for people to take in their homes,” as Wanner described. Now that the 24 beds are donated, Bauer still wants to be involved with the organization by socializing with the animals to make them more adoptable and helping wherever he can as the non-profit continues to provide vet service and resources to animals they house and to those they do not have room to house.
A freshman at Wauseon High School, Bauer contributes much of his love for animals and success of the project to his parents, Jim and Andrea. “They really kept me motivated, helped me stick to it, and gave me support whenever I needed it,” he said. To see the beds in action or join Bauer in caring for the animals and the organization, the humane society is open 10:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday and 10:00 am-3:00 pm on Saturday at 14720 County Road J, Wauseon.
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