Kiddos and critters come together

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The Cochrane and area Humane Society offers many programs and services, which includes adoption of pets and volunteer opportunities and is a good resource for anyone who loves animals. Critter Club, one of the society’s newest programs which kicked off last week, was created as a way for adolescents to learn how to respect and care for animals.

The program fills a gap in the Humane Society’s programs that restricts volunteers to those 13 years of age or older – 13 to volunteer with an adult and 16 to volunteer independently. This program is a great way for younger kids to learn about what the Humane Society is all about so they can make the decision about whether to volunteer in the future.

Critter Club teaches younger kids what it means to adopt and foster animals and how important it is to make sure all these animals find loving forever homes. It is also a way to raise awareness for the society and its vision is. It also serves as an opportunity to get more youth to volunteer and hopefully adopt in the future – or get their parents to adopt wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

The program kicked off on Jan. 11 and the introduction day consisted of a tour around the building. The youth were excited to be a part of the tour, which allowed them to see parts of the facility normally closed to the public, like the training room and the vet clinic where they perform surgeries. Then, it was off to learn all about canine language and how to care for a dog. The youth evening was completely interactive and Alecia, the co-ordinator for the program, did a great job teaching the kids and keeping them engaged. After learning about dogs, the youth had the chance to interact with three puppies, taking turns holding them. This experience allowed youth to get hands on, and develop healthy and safe interactions between both the animals and the children.

Arabella Papp, a student at Rocky View School’s Community Learning Centre and a volunteer at the Cochrane anda Humane Society, assists during Critter Club.

She is hoping her experience with the club might help with future career options, adding it’s also a great way to spend time with animals.

“Everyone is really nice and wonderful and amazing and if you love animals you can spend time with them.”

All the youth were very excited to be a part of this club.

Participant Mary Beaton showed her enthusiasm when asked why people should visit the Humane Society more often.

“I think people should come here because it’s a great way to help animals and a great idea in general.”

The Critter Club is a great opportunity for youth to become exposed to volunteer work and what it means to help in the community while still having fun learning about their favourite animals.

For more information about the Critter Club got to www.cochranehumane.ca.

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