Students help stray dogs on Navajo Nation

Save Our Strays Club at junior high school helps stray animals on the Navajo Nation and educates the public about spay/neuter and vaccinations.
By Barbara Williamson

If these kids have their way, there will be no more strays on the Navajo Nation -- or anywhere else for that matter. Three teenagers from the Navajo Nation who are members of the Save Our Strays (SOS) Club at Chinle Junior High School visited Best Friends. Phil Chischilly, Jr., Elaina Rooper, and Cameron James, and other club members, held Navajo taco sales and dinners to raise the money for their trip to Best Friends, where they spent time volunteering with the animals. Last fall, the group caught the attention of USA Weekend during their annual "Make a Difference Day" when the club organized distemper and parvo vaccinations for more than 150 dogs.

Spay, neuter, vaccines and adoptions

The club members are dedicated to educating people about the need for spay/neuter and vaccinations. They have also helped place stray animals into homes. "We’ve placed about 50 dogs and four cats. If we keep this club going, there will be no more homeless pets on the Navajo Nation," Elaina said. Cameron added, "We’re trying to get this group going nationally. We’d like to see other junior-high kids form their own clubs and help the animals around them."

For information on how to form a Save Our Strays club, contact the group’s advisor, Lynn Grayeagle, at or Elaina at

Caring for Pets