Peaceful Passings Senior Animal Rescue: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
The money was used to buy supplies for our humane education classes at Fluvanna Middle School, Carysbrook Elementary School, Cale Elementary, and Monticello High School. We bought pet first-aid kits, four manikins for CPR and pulse "readings," pet alert stickers, bags for the children to take their pet first-aid kits home, Uncover a Dog/Uncover a Cat books so they could better understand the internal workings of an animal, and pillowcases/fabric marker pens/iron-on transfers to do a pillowcase project where children learn about disaster preparedness. Included in the pillowcases were pet records, where a child could include the records from their vet prior to coming to a local shelter (should they be needed in a disaster). We also ordered "Dog Bingo" from our Virginia Cooperative Extension Service as a learning tool, as well as dog-curriculum educational guides.
Our "Paws and Pals" classes are offered once per month through the school year for middle-school students, for three consecutive weeks for elementary students, once a year for high-school students, and once a year for Cale Elementary students. The "Paws and Pals" classes are offered to middle-school students, with approximately 10 students in a class. This semester, our students live, all total, with about 75 animals (one child has a parent with 40 dogs in a kennel). Next semester, we estimate that our students will have as many animals. Since the middle-school students are 5th, 6th, and 7th graders, the information will help them through a lifetime of caring for animals, so the total animals served may very well be in the hundreds. We were able to teach them the basics of animal care, animal-behavior training, disaster preparedness, and pet first aid. Since most of the items purchased are non-perishable, they can be used for years to come.
Our current class represents a total of 75 animals in their homes. Our classes run year-round, and I anticipate that next semester we will serve as many youth with as many animals. When we add in the number of owner owned animals at Cale Elementary and Monticello High School, as well as our local Elementary school, the number will definately be in the hundreds. And since the items we have bought are non-perishable, they will serve students for many years to come, so the number of animals served is countless.
One of our middle-school students has a father who owns a hunting kennel of 40 dogs (ugh!). Of course, the child is somewhat powerless to influence the thoughts of her father. However, she has a voice, understands what is wrong about hunting kennels and is in a position to view what happens on a daily basis. With her newfound knowledge of correct animal care, she might be able to influence her parents, or at the very least, provide a better life for the animals she owns in her future. She has learned all of the vaccines an animal should have as well as the benefits of heartworm preventative. She understands how to properly care for an animal, and our hope is that, for future generations, animals will have better lives because we have been able to teach children the correct way to care for animals and keep them healthy and cared-for.