Averiel Butts, a sophomore in sociology, found her calling when she visited Natalie’s Second Chance Shelter to adopt a dog for a family member. She immediately saw a need for help and committed herself to volunteering three days a week. She takes care of dogs and rehabilitates them so that they can be adopted out to families. Besides helping out at the shelter, Butts is also involved in DRIVEN, a College of Liberal Arts student organization committed to Volunteering, Education, and Networking.
Hometown: Merriville, Indiana
Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Sociology (Law and Society)
Career goal: To go to law school and become a lawyer
Why she volunteers: She likes everything to do with animals and volunteering gives her a sense of purpose.
On changing the lives of animals: Averiel looks after dogs that come in with problems ranging from ailing health to phobias of cars or people. She nurtures and nourishes them until they are healthy, confident and playful. “I got a dog once that had not been outside in a year! He was so afraid to be around anything that moved. After spending some time with him, he got a little comfortable and he finally got adopted,” Butts said. Since September, she has found homes for 25 dogs.
Stress reliever: Animals need love and attention from people but Butts believes people can get the same from animals too. “Personally for me, dogs are just fun to be around. Spending time with them relieves my stress and I forget all that is bothering me. They just have that effect on me.”
Fostering pets off campus: Averiel regrets not being able to have pets of her own since she lives on campus. However, she looks for opportunities to keep the dogs with her as much as possible. “Someone dropped off a box of puppies they found in their backyard. They couldn’t stay with other dogs just yet because they were young. I took one with me to my home over the break. I will probably do so the same during Christmas break too!”
Big dreams: Averiel hopes to go to law school and become a lawyer. “Hopefully by then I will have made enough money to own a huge home where I can have enough room to keep lots of dogs and other four-legged creatures!”
On her iPod: John Mayer. Loves all his songs and attends his concerts as much as possible.
Favorite pastime: Spending time with her younger sister and brother.
Favorite food: Chipotle chicken tacos with extra, extra sour cream.
By Kinnari Sejpal