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Humane Society of Pinellas: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

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

The funds from the Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant were used towards marketing our education programs through the creation of a new kid-friendly newsletter, purchasing program materials to enhance lesson plans, scholarships to attend new camps during school breaks, t-shirts for camps, travel and salary for the Humane Education & Outreach Coordinator and technology needs for the education programs.

Through humane-themed lessons, the Deanna Marie Palestra Humane Education Program seeks to educate youth on a variety of pet topics, including responsibility, overpopulation, behavior and enrichment. Through the Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant, we were able to create new camps, classes and learning opportunities for youth with the goal of teaching compassion for all living creatures. The pets in our care benefited from this grant because there are now more youth who understand animal welfare and wish to do their part to make the word a better place for animals.

How many pets did this grant help?

The Deanna Marie Palestra Humane Education Program works with over 4,000 kids every year. After attending our programs, youth become advocates for animals at our shelter. The Humane Society of Pinellas adopts out nearly 3,000 pets each year. The Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant allowed for more of those pets to interact with and be socialized by youth in our programs. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to teach youth how to interact with pets while also gaining valuable information about it such as whether a pet enjoys being around children.

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

The Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education grant allowed us to offer a scholarship to a girl named Daja who attended our new Kids Thanksgiving Break Camp. Without this scholarship, Daja would not have been able to attend camp. During camp, youth interact with the animals each day. One day, Daja met a 5-year-old American pit bull terrier mix named Cheri. Immediately Daja’s eyes glowed when she pet Cheri, who sat right in front of her, enjoying the attention. Daja went home that day and told her family about Cheri, who came to the Humane Society through a transfer from the local animal control agency. As camp ended, Daja said a tearful goodbye to Cheri, promising to talk her family into adopting her. Well, Cheri was in luck, because the very next day Daja and her family came to adopt her! Without the Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant, this story wouldn’t have been possible!

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