Months of hard work paid off recently for a group of Valley-area Girl Scouts who set out to help animals at a local organization.

Members of Brownie Troop 40587 of Sayre and Athens recently completed a long service project where they made and collected pet items, said troop leader Amy Chilson. The troop recently donated the items to the Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield.

The girls arranged a "Fitness for Fur" Zumba class to collect supplies for the organization, Chilson said. The staff at Fitness With Serena in Athens helped the girls to organize a class that included Zumba, yoga, aerobics and dancing.

Troop members invited Girl Scouts from other local troops to join them and collected food, cleaning supplies, pet toys and other necessities as admission to the class.

The girls also used recycled items to make pet items. Troop members used old clothes and even recycled Girl Scout cookie boxes to make 20 hand-sewn cat beds, 20 cat scratchers and over 50 dog toys, Chilson said.

"Our girls have worked very hard for months," she said.

The effort culminated in a visit to the East Smithfield sanctuary, where the troop dropped off the donations and handmade items. While they were there, the girls visited many of the animals, giving them attention and love.

Troop members "got to see firsthand the importance of supporting a great organization that spends so much time taking care of these animals," Chilson said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: