Meghan Holden/The Veritas NewsThe basement of Shrader houses about 15 animals that are taken care of by the Animal Caretakers Team.

Meghan Holden/The Veritas News
The basement of Shrader houses about 15 animals that are taken care of by the Animal Caretakers Team.

ENC has many clubs for students to join, but not many of them involve animals. If you are an animal lover, the Animal Caretakers Team might just be the club for you.

The club’s slogan, “We ACT on behalf of animals,” essentially explains the club’s purpose.

“All the animals we take care of were rescues from homes of people who neglected them, or didn’t realize how much it takes to actually take care of these animals, or didn’t realize how large [the animals] got,” ACT member and senior environmental science major Meghan Holden said.

The team currently takes care of 14 animals (plus a fish tank), including two pythons, two tarantulas, a scorpion, and a yellow spotted salamander (allowed by Massachusetts permit).

One of the main objectives of the group is that the 13 members learn about animal care.

“The club allows students to work with and handle a variety of animals that they don’t see every day, which is a great resumé booster if that’s something you’re interested in going into,” Holden said.

The team also aims to educate the public.

“A lot of people have a fear or hatred of the animals that we take care of,” Holden said. “So one of the things that we like to do is show people that there is nothing to be afraid of, and to educate them about the animals. The best way to dispel myths of any sort is [through] education. These animals should be respected, but not feared.”

All team members help in taking care of the animals.

Holden explains, “The members on the team are divided into a weekly schedule where they go down and perform specific tasks. There are three shifts a day: morning, afternoon, and evening. The morning shift checks and gives water and turns on appropriate lights; afternoon checks the average temps of each enclosure; and evening shift does the feeds.”

Since this club is not funded by SGA, they provide funds on their own by doing community programs, such as bringing the animals to schools.

“Honestly, we’re just a weird group of kids that like animals,” Holden said.

The ACT has meetings at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday in the third floor biology lounge in Shrader.

If students are interested in joining or just want to meet the animals, email Meghan Holden.