It’s a great feeling when new guests visit us. Especially when they discover the different programs we have. I smile when I overhear, “I never knew they had thaaaaat!” Most people know us by our animal adoption services, but did you also know that we really are an animal center where “people help animals and animals help people?” A perfect example is our Critter Camp.
People Helping Animals
Part of our Education Department’s goal is to provide an opportunity for children to interact with and learn about the animals that share our world. We think it’s very important that children learn about the human and animal bond and how to respect all living things. We also believe that it’s important to have a lot of fun doing it, too! How best to share that opportunity with our campers? Why, the best answer to everything: KITTENS!
We sure have a lot of kittens right now. Kitten season usually comes into full swing around late spring and, boy, we always need help for it. Did you know that we have 48 kittens and their mothers in foster care? That’s not even counting all the cats and kittens in our Cattery and Kittery at the Center. Thank goodness for our Critter Campers!
Each kitten needs socialization time with people so their transition to their new home is easier for their forever family and for them. Critter Campers are the perfect candidates. Every week, classes are given opportunities to socialize an orphaned kitten. During this time they learn more about felines: what their needs are, how they act, and how to care for them.
Each child sees first hand how they can make a difference in the life of an orphaned animal. It doesn’t matter how young you are, everyone can make a difference!
Animals Helping People
Did you know that all our animals in our Education Department are rescues, too? We have a myriad of animals: miniature horses, goats, sheep, rabbits, birds, snakes, lizards, tortoises… the list goes on and on! During animal interaction times, our teachers guide children through each session by explaining each animal, their unique needs, and the environment or ecosystem they live in.
A favorite time of the campers is meeting one of their favorite and familiar animals: a dog. (I think it’s also the dog’s favorite time of day, too!)
Each dog that participates in our Education Department is also a rescue animal. Campers learn how to interact with new dogs they have not met before, what a dog’s needs are, and how to care for a dog at home. Plus, campers learn how important it is to save lives by adopting an animal from your local animal center or shelter.
Meet Ellie! Ellie is a rescue that came from Visalia, California. Ellie’s mom tragically died when she was just a puppy. Ellie and her siblings were bottle fed and then given to a local animal shelter to be adopted. Poor Ellie watched all her brothers and sisters find forever homes… until she was the only one left. Ellie was transferred to us and quickly found her forever home with a Helen Woodward Animal Center employee who just “had to have her!” Ellie enjoys meeting new campers and showing them her cheerful attitude and calm disposition. She is the perfect ambassador for our mission. Thanks for your help, Ellie!It’s amazing to think that an animal that was once orphaned now has so many opportunities to spread the word about how important it is to love animals through our Education Department.
If you are interested in adopting an animal or enrolling your child in our summer Critter Camp program, please visit animalcenter.org for more information.
July 27, 2010 Update: Cloe the kitten found her forever family! Congrats Cloe!