Hendricks County Humane Society (HCHS): Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
To provide hands-on cat care workshops called Reading to the Cats for young people, intermediate through early high school (second photo), and to save the life of a dog who kept coming back to us by providing obedience training which made him no longer difficult-to-adopt.
This grant helped HCHS establish a reputation in the community for providing educational programming that helps young people to better understand animals and to recognize that having a pet brings with it the need to be responsible for the animal's complete care. The workshops helped socialize our adoptable cats and provided information to HCHS about which cats were good with children. This grant also helped us find a home for a dog who'd had two unsuccessful adoptions and each time he was returned, we were told that he was aggressive and too hyper.
Many cats were helped because the children attending the workshop learned some things about their own personal cats as well as cats that they may have in the future. For example, they made scratching boards (third photo) and learned why cats need to scratch. They learned what is involved when a microchip is implanted in a pet and saw a microchip for the first time. In addition, the cats who were in our building at the time of the workshops benefited from the socialization they received from the children and their adopting families were provided bags, decorated by the children in the workshop, filled with cat information, toys, and treats (fourth photo).
Until we had our workshop, we were pretty sure that a cat named Rinny was unsociable. She would hide in her condo and peak over the edge when someone came into the room but then she would hide her head again. On the night of our Reading to the Cats workshop, Rinny perked up at the sound of the children's voices as they entered the room. She even came halfway down her condo and allowed herself to be petted (first photo). This action helped us to market Rinny as good with children. Meet Rinny: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37801744
Also, Zeus, a rottweiler/Lab (fifth photo), was adopted two times and returned both times. He was reported to be an "out-of-control dog" and "aggressive" because he jumped up on people and growled in their faces. Through our Petfinder posting, a lady contacted us and was considering adopting Zeus but was worried about his bad behavior. HCHS felt that Zeus needed obedience training and the lady agreed to a cooperative effort wherein she would take Zeus to obedience classes (sixth photo) and HCHS would pay the class fees. Before the classes concluded, the lady adopted him! She learned that if she provided Zeus with structure and firm guidance on how to behave, he was a wonderful pet. Now, finally, Zeus had a forever home.
We are grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for helping us to help animals. Lives were saved through the use of grant money.