Becoming an Eagle Scout is not for the faint of heart. Only 4% of scouts obtain the 13 merit badges necessary to call themselves an Eagle.

Auggie Pirazzi, age 17, Troop 105 of Long Beach, Belmont Shore is one of a select few. According to Auggie, “it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.”

One of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout involves selecting and completing a project that will benefit the community in some way. And that is where the Seal Beach Care Center comes in.

Auggie’s mom Tina explained that the family was looking for a dog to adopt in August 2018. They dropped by Seal Beach’s nonprofit, no-kill dog and cat rescue and fell in love with a black lab mix named Marla.

Marla was a stray, found at McGaugh Elementary School, that had been waiting for more than a month for her forever home.

“Marla brings so much joy to our family," Tina said, "that my son decided he wanted to give back and dedicate his Eagle Scout Project to his furry friend.”

Auggie met with SBACC board member Vicki Hickam, and they came up with the idea of a much needed storage unit, which Auggie then built from scratch. Prior to construction, Auggie put on a Hot Dog BBQ fundraiser to try and obtain the $1,100 he would need to build the unit. Thanks to his supportive neighbors and friends, many of whom were scouts and animal lovers, he raised more than double that amount.

“Not only did Auggie do an outstanding job, but his efforts allowed us to put the money we saved towards feeding, housing and paying vet bills for our dogs and cats,” Hickam said.

But the story doesn’t end there: Auggie is contributing the extra $1,300 he raised to the shelter. Many thanks to Auggie and the Pirazzis for their generous support, and to Marla for making it all happen!

If you would like to volunteer, donate or adopt, please contact the Seal Beach Animal Care Center at or contact Christina Miller at 562-357-2655.

Christina Miller is the fund-raising coordinator at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center.

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