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Last Hope Animal Rescue: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

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

This grant awarded $7,500 to Last Hope and provided funding for the "Last Hope Warriors," a group of 6- to 18-year-old youth dedicated to learning about the shelter and the animals within it as well as the community. The grant money will be used to remodel the Warriors' meeting room to better allow for animal meet-and-greet, projects and learning. Quotes are currently being obtained prior to completion of this project. A lesser amount of the grant funds will supply craft supplies such as painting easels and various items with which to complete animal-related activities. Leftover funds will cover "Last Hope Warrior" brochure-printing costs; brochures will be distributed in local schools to spread the word about the group.

This group, led by volunteer Michelle Severson, teaches youth about animals and animal safety and fosters animal interactions while encouraging parent participation in the group. The group fosters a love of animals and inspires the youth to channel their creativity into animal-related education and projects. Each meeting, the youth have the opportunity to interact with either dogs or cats (or both!) of different ages, genders and breeds. Projects focus around awareness of adoptable animals, fundraising for the shelter or items to be utilized with the shelter animals.

How many pets did this grant help?

10-15 children per month

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

During a recent meeting, the Warriors considered what happens when animals get bored and discussed the negative behaviors which can occur in the home, such as chewing, barking, etc. The youth then crafted some toys for the shelter cats by cutting different shapes in empty cereal boxes. The toys were then taken to the cat room, where the cats immediately began to play with them — much to the Warriors’ delight. Due to this positive experience in the cat room, a little boy attending the group decided to adopt one of the kittens that day! The attached photos were taken during the December meeting. The youth decorated the shelter for Christmas with photos of each of the adoptable pets.

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