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The Journal Gazette

  • Megan Slack holds a kitten during a visit to the Allen County SPCA. She is planning a mural to encourage pet adoption. (Courtesy photos)

  • This mock-up shows the mural planned for the Jamison Meats on North Anthony Boulevard.

Saturday, May 11, 2019 1:00 am

School project turns into pet adoption mural plan

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

What began as a research project about animal shelters and pet adoption has evolved into a fifth grader's quest to turn a longtime business's exterior wall into artwork with a mission.

Megan Slack, a Concordia Elementary School student, was motivated to do more after learning there are an estimated 16,000 stray cats in Allen County.

“That was very shocking to me, and I wanted to do something about it,” the 11-year-old said.

Megan is seeking $8,000 in donations at to support the creation of a mural on the side of Jamison Meats on North Anthony Boulevard. For every $5 donated, $3 will go to local animal shelters, and $2 will go to mural supplies. Any leftover funds will support shelters, teacher Melanie Walter said.

Megan partnered with local artists and family friends Larry and Tammy Davis to create the mural. A digital mock-up shows it will feature colorful paw prints, a dog, a cat and the phrase “Adopt a Fur-Ever Friend.”

She is excited about the painting, which is planned for June.

“I've never done anything like this before,” Megan said.

The school ultimately found a location willing to host the mural by connecting with the North Anthony Corridor Group, Walter said.

Allowing Megan to use Jamison Meats was an easy decision, Paul Jamison said. He noted a mural at a neighboring building has become a popular photography spot.

“We just thought it would help the corridor to be a destination for people to look at the different murals,” Jamison said.

Megan's project stems from her school's Passion Power Hour, which began as a pilot program last year, Walter said. Participating students select topics that solve a problem, create something or ask a complex question, she said.

Megan, who focused on an endangered animal last year, said she picked the current topic because she was noticing a lot of stray cats.

“I love animals, too,” Megan said.

Other Passion Power Hour projects haven't risen to this scale, Walter said. As a teacher, she said, it's exciting to see how far students are willing to go.