Homeward Trails Animal Rescue: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

To support our youth summer camp, Camp Waggin’ Tales, which served a total of 32 children ranging in ages 8-13 years old. During camp they learned about the following topics:
• Responsible pet ownership
• Costs of pet care
• 5 freedoms of animal welfare
• Puppy mills and pet stores
• Breed discrimination
• Dog fighting
• Animal hoarding
• Chaining of dogs
• Treatment of non-companion animals – zoos, farming, tourism, etc.
• Animal rescue and sheltering
• How to be an animal advocate
• Positive reinforcement dog training

Campers heard from:
• Veterinarians
• Licensed vet techs
• Positive dog trainers
• Dog search and rescue team
• Rescue staff and volunteers

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Approximately 30 animals in our care interacted with the campers on a daily basis, gaining additional socialization and positive training experience. Beyond this interaction, our kids completed projects on advocacy which they shared with their peers, families and friends. Many of the campers have stayed in touch with our staff, asking how they might continue to work on behalf of animals. We are now exploring creating a Youth Ambassador Program which would engage youth throughout the year and focus on advocacy and messaging as well as community involvement.

How many pets did this grant help?

Directly? 30. But the indirect assistance to our pets is in the hundreds based on the education the campers received and will share with the larger community.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

All of the animals who interacted with campers have been adopted. Here is a quote from a camper's parent: “I just wanted to let you know how much my daughter enjoyed her Camp Waggin’ Tails experience. Not only did she learn a great deal about care and training of dogs (she taught our two rescue dogs, age 6, to sit, lie down, and play dead), she found a new vigor for raising awareness of homeless pets. She opened a lemonade stand several weekends ago to raise funds for your organization. Her signage pointed out the need for neuter and spay treatment. Such a great experience! Thanks so much for providing a truly worthy summer camp experience!” – Mary H.