EDISON — Students on the East Brunswick and Piscataway campuses of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools (MCVTS) are building tiny houses — for dogs and for charity.
The doghouses will be auctioned off at the annual DogFest on Oct. 22 at Roosevelt Park in Edison to benefit Canine Companions for Independence, which trains dogs to assist people with physical disabilities in tasks such as pulling a wheelchair, pushing buttons and carrying packages, according to a statement prepared by MCVTS.
“I think it’s great for the students to get involved in a project to help others,” Javier Robles of Edison, a board member of Canine Companions, said in the statement.
“It’s a useful activity for our students to do and it’s supporting a good organization,” said Sean McDonald, MCVTS director of career and technical education.
Two MCVTS students helped build a doghouse in the building trades/carpentry shop on the East Brunswick campus. Called “The Doggenheim,” it was modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright’s circular Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
The students used recycled wood from pallets, steaming it and bending it around a PVC form.
“It took a month to build,” senior Ashly Rahman of New Brunswick said in the statement. “The hardest part was bending the wood. We had to bend it fast.”
“It’s for a small dog, six to 10 pounds, like a small terrier,” said junior Dylan Stratton of East Brunswick.
Another larger doghouse built in East Brunswick was modeled after Snoopy’s residence in “Peanuts.”
It will be auctioned on eBay, while the rest will be available as silent auction items at DogFest.
DogFest, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. through 2 p.m., will feature graduates of the New Jersey chapter of Canine Companions, as well as volunteer puppy raisers. It will include an agility course, demonstrations, a doggie costume contest and deejay entertainment.
MCVTS staff will transport and display the student-built doghouses.
“It’s a fun day at Roosevelt Park,” Robles said.