SHOW LOW — Staff and volunteer at the Show Low Animal Shelter can now more safely access a storage trailer, thanks to Northland Pioneer College welding students Willie Lewis and Owen Perkins.

The Snowflake High School seniors fabricated a set of metal stairs, utilizing a display stand and other materials donated by Lowe’s in Show Low to replace a stack of wooden pallets that volunteers had been using to access the semi-trailer where food and supplies are stored.

“Pet Allies is able to operate the City of Show Low’s animal control shelter as a no-kill facility due to the many donations from organizations such as NPC,” notes director R.J. Owens.

A semi-trailer was donated to Pet Allies to store large amounts of donated food and supplies from Best Friends Animal Society.

“Our volunteers put together stairs made from pallets, but it was not secure and over time, really put people at risk of a fall going up and down getting food, litter and other essential items.”

The pallet stairs also had to be moved every time a load of food was received.

Owens contacted NPC welding instructor Randy Hoskins to see if his students could build stairs to access the trailer. NPC students have done several community class projects to apply their acquired skills, including the litter receptacles lining the Deuce of Clubs, bus shelters and a memorial plaque for the late Show Low Police Officer Darrin Reed. Working with the college’s metal arts department, several welding students are also helping re-construct the Cooley-Clark card game statue.

“Willie and Owen stepped up to do the project for Pet Allies,” Hoskins said. “They did it right — taking measurements, drawing up plans and calculating how to best utilize the donated metal. It took a lot of extra effort, but they are really proud of the result.”

Lewis and Perkins were both students in Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology and received their national welding certifications from NPC in May.

Lewis plans to complete his Associate of Applied Science welding degree at NPC. A team roper, Perkins plans to enroll at Central Arizona College in the fall, competing on their rodeo team.

“Pet Allies shelter staff and volunteers cannot thank the students and instructors, and really everyone at NPC, who have made this happen for the shelter,” Owens said. “Having professionally-made stairs, of quality materials, is a blessing.”

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