These students definitely can’t use the “dog ate my homework” excuse anymore!
Nearly 770 elementary, middle and high school students in the Greater Hartford area learned about pet care, how to interact with different kinds of pets, and how to be safe around dogs this school year, thanks to a new education program offered by the Connecticut Humane Society.
CHS Community Outreach Manager Elizabeth Timpe visited classrooms in New Britain, West Hartford, Middletown and other area school districts to present the interactive lessons: Pets and Caring Kids (PaCK); and the Safety PAWtrol: Dog Safety and Dog Bite Prevention. No pets attended, but there were furry sidekicks for hands-on demonstrations - plush animals, including a life-sized dog.
The programs were developed in an effort to promote safety around animals and to introduce kids to proper pet interactions—kids who have pets, and even those who don’t, since they likely have family or friends with critters at home.
The programs, which ran from 30 to 60 minutes, explored what pets need to be happy and healthy and how those needs compare to our own. They also discussed how to properly interact with and handle pets (that stuffed animal dog sure earned his keep with those sessions!), and how much furry friends depend on people for their care.
When it comes to being safe around canines, youngsters learned how dogs communicate when they’re stressed or nervous and how to introduce themselves to a new pooch. Another important takeaway—how to get help for a stray or loose dog (immediately tell an adult, who can call the local animal control officer or police department).
The PaCK and Safety PAWtrol programs will expand to additional towns and students for the next school year. For more information, click here.