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Eagle Scout candidate builds shelter at animal sanctuary 

Local Eagle Scout candidate builds shelter at animal sanctuary

Garrett Haggmark.

Rank involves years of dedication, community service, leadership experiences

– The Eagle Scout Rank is an opportunity for a scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of their community. Garrett Haggmark, of Paso Robles, met with Joe Thomas of From the Heart Animal Sanctuary to discuss the need for a run-in animal shelter for the sanctuary’s 20 goats.

Haggmark first designed the shelter with Thomas. Then, he met with Scout leaders to discuss the need, present the design as required by the Boy Scouts organization, and complete the scout application for the project and the fundraising forms. The estimated project cost was $1400. He then secured donations from Lowe’s (lumber, screws, and concrete) and Andros Engineering (the roofing and side tin) in Paso Robles. After completing all the administrative paperwork and collection of materials, Haggmark then led six volunteer scouts from Troup 60 of Paso Robles in the building of the run-in structure.

Haggmark assumed responsibility for identifying, planning, and leading the shelter project to achieve Eagle Scout rank, a monumental challenge that only five percent of Boy Scouts in the United States ever achieve. Eagle Scout rank involves years of dedication, community service, and leadership experiences. Garrett chose From the Heart Animal Sanctuary based on the sanctuary’s mission to provide forever homes for animals in need. From the Heart Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit that depends on the generosity of the community.

“We are thrilled and grateful that Garrett chose us for his community project,” said Joe Thomas, owner of From the Heart Animal Sanctuary. “This structure is a significant undertaking that involves fundraising and the complexities of designing and building a structure that can withstand the elements of nature. It’s as complex as building a pergola for your backyard. I am so impressed with the results.”

Eagle Scout qualifications:

Requirements: Scouts must complete at least 21 merit badges, including 13 Eagle Badges. These cover personal fitness, environmental science, public speaking, citizenship, and financial management.

Leadership: Scouts serve as leaders within their troop, taking charge of a patrol. They learn to independently plan campouts, backpacking trips, and troop excursions.

Eagle project: Scouts coordinate and lead a large-scale volunteer project for the betterment of their Community. This project demonstrates their leadership and organizational skills.

About From the Heart Animal Sanctuary

The From the Heart Animal Sanctuary is home to unwanted or medically fragile animals in peril. The sanctuary is the forever home to these animals. The animals also serve as models for children’s art classes! Joe Thomas uses the animals to reach and teach kids ages 5-12 the physical and behavioral characteristics of each animal they draw and paint at Paso Robles Youth Arts Center. Joe Thomas imparts knowledge and compassion to the children through this outreach. From the Heart Animal Sanctuary is on Fat Goat Farm in Paso Robles.

From the Heart Animal Sanctuary is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of individuals and businesses from the community.

To donate, call (805) 610-2149 or visit From the Heart Animal Sanctuary for more information.


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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at