For his Eagle Scout project, Remy Gilbeau, 17, of Virginia Run, is helping hundreds of the pets affected by Hurricane Katrina. Gilbeau, a member of Troop 1137 which meets at the Izaak Walton League, is gathering donations of pet food, supplies and toys for lost and abandoned animals along the Gulf Coast.
"I saw all the animals on the news who were suffering down there, and I said that's the perfect thing for my Eagle Project. I said, 'I can do that right now, so why not,'" he said.
Gilbeau, whose family owns six dogs, a cat, three horses, two chinchillas, a rabbit and two birds, says he couldn't imagine a life without animals.
"The animals, I think they are some of the worst victims here. The animals had to pay for it because they could not leave," said Gilbeau.
He distributed flyers in Virginia Run, Gate Post Estates and Cub Run and put up fliers at a local PETsMART asking for donations that could help.
"There were more than 200 people who donated stuff. It's amazing just how generous people can be. We collected over a ton of pet supplies last Saturday in PETsMART on Sudley Road in Manassas," said Gilbeau.
He says that he still has a challenge though. "The most difficult part is just getting people who are willing to take it down there, people who are willing to donate stuff. We got a U-Haul to donate us a truck," he said. "We hooked up with a Dalmatian Rescue of Southwestern Virginia — a rescue program that's working under the Humane Society. We are going to bring the supplies to Roanoke where they are setting up a large caravan to go down and bring pets back up."
Gilbeau attends Westfield High School where he is a senior with a GPA of 3.3. He takes part in Tae Kwon Do and is going to attend VCU and study graphic design in order to become a video game designer.
"People have been really generous so far. I certainly wasn't expecting the huge amount we got at PETsMART. I'd like to thank all the people who helped. Kinko's in Manassas donated all the fliers, U-Haul in Dumfries is donating a truck for free. It's really amazing," Gilbeau said.