Mrs. Utley honored at local school

February 5, 2009 3:11:58 PM PST
Of course, we know that the Utley family loves baseball, but the Phillies second baseman and his wife also share a love for animals.Jen Utley was the guest of honor at Great Valley High today; she came because of the school's Animal Protection Club and its members' dedication to improving the heartbreaking plight of animals.

"I'm so impressed. I had no idea that kids were aware of these things and I'm really glad they are, "Jen Utley said.

They invited her because of her own commitment to increasing awareness about the welfare of animals.

"It's one thing to be part of the movement, but Ms. Utley is someone who's out front with the bullhorn," chief editor of the school's newspaper Ben Wofford said.

Jenn and Wayne Smith from the animal cruelty division of the Pennsylvania SPCA, brought Penelope the dog along today to show the students how dogs can survive abuse.

For the last two years, Jen and Chase Utley have sponsored "Save a Pet in the Park", at Citizens Bank Park, where dogs and cats find new homes.

Who could forget when the Utley's came to the rescue of Ettana, the boxer, badly beaten, doused with gasoline, then set on fire.

"I think it's an amazing story that they were able to save such a precious animal and I'd love to be able to help them next year if I go to school in the city," Animal Protection Club President Maddie McCarley said.

Today, the student club members presented Jen with their Animal Protector Award.

They also donated money and hundreds of towels and blankets to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

"I think it's important because I have a puppy and I would never want anyone to do anything to my dog." Great Valley High senior Ashley Knaff said.

"To be aware of this problem this young is only going to be better for animals down the road; it's sort of one of those things where you can look away, but it's not going to go away," Jen Utley said.

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