VILSECK, Germany --- Vilseck High School students Brittany Leger and Marco Keith fill a basket with donated pet food at the Rose Barracks Teen Center, here, Feb. 27.

The teens collected various pet items throughout February that they will eventually deliver to the Amberg Teirheim.

The collection, which the teens called part community service, part community relations, was aimed at challenging the stereotype of Americans and the issue of abandoned pets.

"A majority of the animals in the German shelters came from American families that have left the country," said Christina Quesenberry, a program assistant site leader for the teen center. "And many shelters in Germany do not allow Americans to adopt pets for fear that they will be abandoned, or end up in the shelter again."

"It's a real issue here," she added.

Leger said collecting donations won't solve the problem, but she believes it will help.

"I think we can give them a better view, but I know it will take time."

Drop-off points were scattered across post and community members donated food, toys and treats for cats and dogs. The teens also employed a door-to-door tactic asking friends and neighbors to lend a hand.

For Keith, getting donations was easy.

"I just tell people to throw me a bone," he said.