PACE — Eagle Scout Nicolas Salazar of Boy Scout Troop 400 in Pace recently completed a community service project to benefit the dogs and cats at Santa Rosa County Animal Services.

“I chose the Santa Rosa County Animal Services because I wanted to help the homeless dogs and cats with donations during the season of Thanksgiving,” Salazar said.

The 15-year-old Salazar called his service project “Happy Paws-giving,” and managed to get his fellow bandmates from the Pace High School Band involved.

Salazar led a donation drive to collect food, toys and treats from his community. On Nov. 2, Salazar and team distributed 700 fliers in five neighborhoods in Pace. They also placed large collection boxes in churches and businesses around Pace.

A week later, on Nov. 9, Salazar and his Patriots bandmates returned to collect the donations.

The Happy Paws-giving community service project collected 2,008 pounds of food and treats for dogs and cats. They also collected 99 bones, 401 toys and 203 miscellaneous items, such as beds, blankets, leashes and brushes).

“I also wanted to spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering pets to reduce animal shelter populations and to promote ’Adopt Don’t Shop,’ giving homeless animals the opportunity to have a nice home and a loving family to be with,” Salazar said.

Salazar added that despite achieving the rank of Eagle Scout he wants to stay involved in the community by helping those in need and motivating more young people to create positive change.

Troop 400 is in the Gulf Coast Council and the Pensacola Bay District.

If you are interested in scouting, Troop 400 invites you to browse their public photo albums, calendar of events and troop history at Troop Meetings are on Monday evening at 7 p.m. at the Charter Organization Woodbine Methodist Church, 5200 Woodbine Road in Pace.