Animal Welfare at Heart of UHD's Animal Rescue Club
Club President Alejandra Perez Leads the Way
By Ashley Kilday, Contributing Writer
Graduating senior Alejandra Perez is passionate about animal welfare, and as the president of UHD's Animal Rescue Club, she has been working to increase awareness and engagement with the campus community. Despite her busy schedule, which includes working with the digital communications team at the Marilyn Davies College of Business, serving as a Gator Success Peer Mentor, and being involved with the American Marketing Association and the UHD Bluecoats, Perez has been able to find time to lead the Animal Rescue Club.
Perez transferred to UHD in 2020 and was looking for a way to stay involved in student life. She came across the Animal Rescue Club on the UHD website. “I was already involved with volunteering with Houston Pets Alive, Special Pals Animal Shelter, and the HSPCA. Animal welfare is something I’m passionate about, and I wanted to join a club related to that,” she shared. Along with students Angie Foeng and Jasmin Rojas, Perez worked with faculty adviser Aaron Gillette to rebuild the club. They started a GroupMe, upped their social media game, and began to hold more community outreach events as COVID restrictions lessened.
The club is committed to serving the Houston community by assisting and advocating for all animals. They reach out to different organizations that may need the help of students and are always looking for new partnerships. “We’re focused on domestic animals right now, but we’d love to advocate for the environment and wildlife,” Perez said. “We do wildlife outreach from time to time with our fantastic partners at HSPCA. We’re talking to the Texas Wildlife Resource Center as well.”
The Animal Rescue Club has grown to more than 60 active members on campus and 150 members on the club’s GroupMe. They have a strong online presence, with an active Instagram account that people use to find out about upcoming events. “We share things like free spay and neuter events, volunteer opportunities, finding homes for stray animals, and we talk about what is going on at UHD as well as internships at HSPCA,” Perez said. The club also hosts bake sales, distributes flyers, and participates in other community service events on and off campus. “It’s easy to join the club. You just have to have a 2.0 GPA and should be able to participate in some of our in-person events. Anyone can join at any time,” she added.
Perez believes that animal welfare volunteering is wholesome and introduces people to a side of volunteering that isn't always so clean. “You might get pawprints on your clothes or step in a mess,” she shared. Perez hopes that more people will become aware of the work that the Animal Rescue Club is doing and that they will join them in their efforts to serve the Houston community by assisting and advocating for all animals.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.