SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica Girlscout, and high school student Dagny Stahl, has received the Gold Award for her accomplishments in educating people on outdoor pet safety. The Gold Award is amongst the highest and most prestigious award a Girl Scout can receive, and it has been since 1916 as stated on the website. The award highlights the recipient’s abilities in leadership and community outreach.

Stahl was enjoying a hike with her family in the Angeles Forest Park when she noticed a limping dog—named Bailey, on the path. The dog’s paws were injured from the severe heat of the rocks, disallowing Bailey to put ample pressure on them. Stahl’s father attempted to carry the dog, but failed due to her large size.

The teenager had a first aid kit and was able to bandage Bailey’s paws, with her limited supplies. Father and daughter, took turns supporting the dog with a make-shift rig of towels to keep pressure off of the dogs paws. The incident inspired Stahl to create Paws Before You Go to prevent other dogs and pet-owners from dealing with similar experiences.

Bailey after getting her paws bandaged.
Bailey after getting her paws bandaged.

Stahl began working on a plan to educate the community on pet safety during outdoor activities. The Santa Monica teen spent time making first aid kits and cards to give to local veterinarians, schools, and active lifestyle stores such as Patagonia.

On her website she writes: “You should always have a first aid kit with you, but dog owners have double the responsibility: themselves and their animals.”

To obtain additional information about pet safety tips visit:

Stahl plans to continue her last few semesters at Santa Monica High School, staying involved with extracurricular activities that include pole vaulting as a Varsity Track & Field athlete at Somali, and a member of the Los Angeles Math Circle at UCLA, according to Santa Monica Daily Press.  She plans to study engineering in college because of her interests in math and science.