An Eagle Scout project will provide better living conditions -- and make adoption easier -- for kittens who will be residing at Save-A-Pet Adoption Center in Grayslake.
This week, Scott Seiler of Gurnee, who belongs to Boy Scout Troop 671, led a group in renovating the Kitten Room.
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The project involved removing paneling from the walls; patching, sanding and painting the walls; and building, painting and installing new cabinet drawer faces, cabinet doors and more shelves.
Scott, 14, who attends Warren Township High School, wanted to help Save-A-Pet. Three years ago, he adopted one of his two basset hounds, 8-year-old Holly, from the shelter.
"I appreciate that it's a no-kill shelter, and the way they treat their animals is a lot better than some other places," he said.
For Scott and his group, the work on Saturday and Sunday took around 19 hours to perform.
Lillian Messner, director-at-large for Save-A-Pet, said the renovations were badly needed, but Save-A-Pet has not been in a financial position to do them.
"For him to be able to come in and do this is just phenomenal," she said, adding that more than 80 kittens will be arriving in the next couple of weeks.
"Having a nice room where they can be displayed and they can play is the best thing for (their) adoption. This is a big boost for our kittens to find a home," Messner said.
In aiming for Eagle Scout at such a young age, there is an element of sibling rivalry. Scott hopes to attain the rank earlier than his 19-year-brother, Eric, did, who earned the designation at age 17.
Eric was among those helping his brother with the shelter improvements this weekend.
"The thing I'm really surprised about is how early he is doing this in his scouting career," Eric said. "I didn't do mine until I was, like, a junior or senior in high school."
That project was a similar type of project, only it was for a food pantry at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church in Libertyville.
It's a friendly rivalry, said their father, Todd Seiler.
"They are each other's best friends," he said.