HEART Campers Visit Shelter Animals at Animal Haven

On Tuesday afternoon, HEART campers made their way downtown to Animal Haven, an animal shelter and educational facility perfect for teaching kids about the millions of dogs and cats who enter shelters each year.
 
Of course, kids love meeting the animals, but before they got to snuggle with the dogs and cats who were waiting for their forever home, they learned about animal shelters and how to prevent companion animal overpopulation. Kendra, the associate director of the shelter, talked to the kids and asked them questions like, “Why do animals end up in shelters?” The campers had learned about puppy mills and companion animal homelessness on Monday so many had expert answers ready as they thrust their hands into the air.
 
When Kendra told them about spaying and neutering a dog or cat to prevent the birth of more puppies and kittens, the campers got right on board. She asked, “What would happen if people didn’t spay or neuter their dog?” A boy raised his hand and answered, “That’s going to make the shelters even more crowded than they already are.”
 
How right he was. Because we’re in prime kitten season, Animal Haven is operating at maximum capacity. Meaning, they couldn’t take in any more animals if they wanted to. Kendra was even caring for a litter of 7-day-old kittens who needed to be fed every three hours. She explained to the campers that she takes the babies home with her after work and wakes to feed them just like their mom would have done.
 
The campers learned a lot from Kendra and HEART educators Chris and Kim during the trip. They watched HEART’s short video on animal shelters, talked to shelter employees, and even played games to learn how to effectively train a dog without ever having to raise their voice. Patience is the key. And these kids did a great job.
 
Of course, while the educational portions are fun and so very important, if someone were to ask “what part of the trip did you like the best” you would be hard pressed to find a camper who didn’t say “meeting the animals.” The kids got to cuddle with three Chihuahua puppies and see those 7-day-old kittens (although not hold them since they were so young.) Check out the pictures below. And yes, the dogs are up for adoption.
 
Thank you Animal Haven for a fantastic day!

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