Blackstone’s Tellier achieves Eagle Scout rank after animal shelter overhaul

Blackstone’s Tellier achieves Eagle Scout rank after animal shelter overhaul

A view of the new, waterproof flooring at the animal shelter.

BLACKSTONE – Noah Tellier, a Blackstone resident and member of Troop 1, said the key to becoming an Eagle Scout is to find a passion and stick with it.

That was the method he employed last year when he raised more than $10,000 to install new flooring and renovate the space in the Blackstone Regional Animal Shelter. Tellier, who will graduate this year from Norfolk Regional Agricultural High School, said the project came out of a long passion for working with animals.

“It all started kind of with the fact that I wanted to help animals and I wanted to help people,” he said. “And since Cub Scouts, thinking that I had to come up with a grand project, something that enforces why you want to be an Eagle Scout.”

Even by Eagle Scout standards, the project was large. Tellier spent 10 months from February to November of last year fundraising for the new flooring, reaching out to local businesses and selling T-shirts and sweatshirts whenever he could. Once the funds were in place, he and more than a dozen volunteers worked to prepare the space, putting in a combined 269 service hours painting, disinfecting and reorganizing.

The project was so large, in fact, that when he first pitched it to troop leaders, they encouraged him to consider renovating only a portion of the shelter. But Tellier was determined to finish the job, and he said the final result was worth the effort.

“Every time I go up to the shelter, it’s one of those good thoughts of, ‘I did this,’ and I know every animal that goes in will be benefiting from it being cleaner and safer,” he said.

The problem with the previous flooring, he said, was that the cement surface was porous, making it less than ideal for an animal shelter that serves five communities around the Blackstone Valley. Working with Animal Control Officer Kevin Sullivan, he identified a company that could install an epoxy floor, a much better surface for the shelter’s furry and feathered residents. The work took place last November, with volunteers removing and replacing the shelter’s contents in the process.

Tellier said it wouldn’t have been possible without the time, dedication and help from town residents. He also thanked the local businesses and groups who contributed in events and funds, including Daniels Farms, Wojcik’s Farm and Goodstuff Smokehouse.

He officially received his Eagle Scout rank during a Zoom meeting on Feb. 14.

Tellier began his Boy Scout career as a member of Cub Scout Pack 3144. He’s since participated in all the rites of passage of Boy Scouting in New England, including summers at Yawgoog Scout Reservation and trips to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Maryland.

His final summer at Yawgoog, which was supposed to take place last year, was overturned by COVID-19, but Tellier said he still benefited from many years of scouting.

“I’ve learned so much, and there’s just so many things that I’ve now taken away and can use as lifelong lessons,” he said.

He’s not sure yet what his plans are after graduation, but he said they’ll likely include helping people and animals.

“My passion is helping animals, and I can safely say I’ve done that and still do,” he said.