Lanie Schantz

Lake Dallas senior outside hitter Lanie Schantz takes a selfie with a chocolate lab that is up for adoption at Denton Animal Shelter.

When Lake Dallas head volleyball coach Kristinn Holbrooks held a Zoom meeting with the team’s seniors a couple of months ago to discuss ways that her Lady Falcons can give back to the community, it didn’t take long for senior outside Lanie Schantz to come up with her idea.

Holbrooks decided this season to give the seniors a community service project. Her only rule was that it had to coincide with their “leader of the pack” theme. She believes that leadership will naturally rise to the top.

Schantz is a dog lover at heart. Her family is the owner of two border collies. Her love for dogs made it easy for her to organize and lead a community project in which she and her 13 Lake Dallas varsity volleyball teammates would volunteer once a week at an animal shelter.

Each week, Lake Dallas drives to Denton Animal Shelter where they highlight one or two animals – mostly dogs – that are up for adoption, take pictures and videos with the animals and post them onto the shelter’s Facebook page. The shelter’s wish list is also posted on social media. That list includes items such as dog collars and bandannas.

This week will mark the third week that Lake Dallas’ volleyball team has volunteered at the shelter. Schantz said she exchanged about 10 emails with the shelter before her project was approved. Details regarding the purpose of the volunteer work had to be discussed and mapped out.

It didn’t take long for the first animal to get adopted.

“Literally a day later, my coach texted me and said, 'Hey, one of our coaches in our program wants to go up there and look at a dog,” Schantz said. “I had sponsored a dog named Lincoln, and the next day, she was like 'I'm going up there to look at that dog, because I bought a new house.'" 

Three members of Lake Dallas’ volleyball program have adopted a dog.

Schantz said she was “overwhelmed” the first time that she visited the shelter because there were so many dogs there and she wanted to help get as many dogs adopted as possible.

"It's cool because most people don't go through shelters anymore,” she said. “They go through pure breeders and stuff where people breed dogs, so it's different to go to an animal shelter. It’s been awesome." 

In addition to helping animals get adopted by the community, Lake Dallas will set up a jar at all of their home matches this season where people can donate either items on the shelter’s wish list or money, all of which will be donated to the shelter.

Schantz said the goal is to raise $1,000 for the shelter.

“Within a week, Lanie had mapped out a game plan and started contacting local animal shelters,” Holbrooks said. “She literally has put together, communicated and organized the entire project.  From team pictures that we took at the shelter, to sending out the shelter wish list, setting up weekly dates and times for different team members to go volunteer.

“When we (coaches) received her email that listed the shelter's needs and wants and everything she had already planned out, I was taken back. She honestly has done a better job putting this on than we could have ever done ourselves.”

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