Local Eagle Scout Brings His Love of Animals to the Forefront

Photo of Zak Galvin in front of the bed materials. Photo courtesy of the Galvin family

Reading, MA ­– When looking for new community service projects to pursue, most people don’t think about making dog beds for local animal shelters. But then again, most people aren’t Zak Galvin.

Rising RMHS sophomore Zak Galvin of Reading Pack 728 recently became the third member of his family to become an Eagle Scout, focusing his final community service project on a topic that was close to his heart: creating a safe environment for foster dogs.

“My family used to foster dogs, and we would be constantly going to shelters, and one thing that I noticed was that a lot of the dogs had these rough patches on their elbows. I wondered why that was, and I found out that it’s usually from the dogs being on cement or from lying on the ground. And that has always been in the back of my head, to look into how to sort of fix that” said Galvin.

Galvin’s Eagle Scout project focused on the creation of 40 outdoor PVC dog beds that could be donated to a local animal shelter.  The creation of these raised beds allow the dogs to rest off of the ground and therefore leave them healthier and less prone to injury.

“Once I learned more about the topic, I started to do more brainstorming and figuring out how much the material would cost, and eventually we started to get the plans out. You have to make a proposal to send to the Council so they can confirm that it’s an okay Eagle Project, and once they reviewed it, I got started. We went to various stores to see where we could get the best price for the supplies we were getting” said Galvin.

Volunteers helped Galvin build the beds. Photo courtesy of the Galvin family

The answer ended up lying in Walmart, where Galvin was surprised to learn that the store had a wide variety of PVC and outdoor fabric to choose from. After securing the materials, Galvin organized a workday, where he and a few other Scout volunteers built the beds and prepared for them to be donated.

“The shelter was really excited to receive all of them,” said Galvin.

The PVC dog beds made as part of the project. Photo by the Galvin family

From start to finish the project took about six months to complete, although Galvin says that the majority of delays were caused by COVID-19 and its impact on delivery times.

The requirements to receive an Eagle Scout ranking must be completed before the applicant turns 18, making Zak Galvin exceptionally young to be completing his Eagle Scout project. Galvin attributes his eagerness to wanting to follow in his brother’s footsteps, and to an understanding of the time constraints of high school students.  

“Both my older brothers were Eagle Scouts, so I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Also, I had seen a lot of older Scouts have a hard time, between sports and high school class loads, finding the time to complete their projects. So, I thought ‘I should get this done before I get too busy, and while I have time.’ And now, since I already have it completed, I can focus on having fun and enjoying doing other Scouting stuff rather than be stressed about completing my project”

Outside of being a Boy Scout, Galvin’s favorite subjects in school are history and science (anything that allows him to be outdoors) and he enjoys spending time with friends and his dogs.

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