Sarah Sisson, a third-year athletic training major at West Virginia Wesleyan College, is passionate about animals. As an issue team leader for the WE LEAD Animal Welfare and Sustainability team at the college, Sarah has organized several events to help animals locally and beyond. She has coordinated multiple adoption events on campus, leading to over 30 animal adoptions over the past three years. She has organized a 5K-9 race and collections to benefit local shelters and rescues. She has also advocated for animals as part of Humane Lobby Day at the state legislature. Recently, she has been exploring the intersections of animal welfare issues with environmental issues, screening films on campus, and leading thoughtful discussions around issues of consumer behavior and climate change. She also worked with a committee through the City of Buckhannon to secure a grant to build a dog park. Sarah is a passionate educator on issues of animal welfare, sustainability, and conservation, being a true champion for the voiceless in our society.
As a child, I grew up around animals and adored each one I met, so my mom decided that we could start volunteering at the local humane society together. I was aware that some animals were mistreated, but it wasn't until I came to college and expanded my knowledge to animals that were outside of our basic household pets that I came to realize that animal welfare was my passion. The more my animal welfare team on campus collaborated with the sustainability team, the more I began to notice the immense amount of connections between the two topics. These connections expanded my passion from animal welfare to sustainability and environmental efforts as these two topics tend to rely on the other to be successful. Through these teams, I have been able to lobby for better legislation for animal rights at my state capitol; collaborate with local rescues and shelters with adoption events and many local businesses and groups to host a 5K fundraising walk; and educate students, faculty, staff, and community about local, national, and international animal welfare and sustainability efforts. I have found my passion truly lies in being an advocate and voice for those who don't have one.