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Ruff Start Rescue: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

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

Grant funds were used in part to print copies of presentation materials. We also purchased pens, sticky note pads, and animal welfare coloring books for our formal education presentations. For our arts and crafts events for children, we purchased feral cat house supplies: Rubbermaid totes, Styrofoam coolers, straw, and duct tape. Paracord and latches were purchased to make leashes. Wooden dowels, felt, ribbon, thread, glue guns and eyelet hooks were purchased to make cat fishing toys. Cardboard boxes will be decorated with the purchased construction paper and markers. These boxes will used as hiding spots for rescued cats. Fleece will be used to create small beds inside the boxes and to make toys for the animals in our care.

This grant supported our Children’s Education Program. We believe that education is key to improving the lives and welfare of animals in the generations to come. Our formal presentations and arts-and-crafts activities allow children the opportunity to learn about animal welfare issues and develop a passion and appreciation for all animal kind. We anticipate that with all items purchased for our arts-and-crafts activities, at least 200 dogs and cats will receive enrichment items made by children in our community. For example, cats in our care will have a safe place to lounge while at our facility. The cardboard houses will allow them to perch on top of these boxes or sleep/hide inside them. Fleece toys will be made for dogs and cats in our care, and fishing toys will serve as a great energy expender for our foster cats. Additionally, some children made feral-cat houses with some of the products purchased. Colony caretakers will be picking up these houses over the next week. This is perfect timing, as we are in the heart of winter in Minnesota, and providing adequate shelter for feral/barn cats is a lifesaving measure.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

We were contacted by a woman who cares for 38 feral cats. She was grateful to hear that we were making feral-cat houses through our Children’s Education Program. After our recent children’s arts event (see pictures) we were able to provide this caretaker with six Rubbermaid houses to support her colony. We are so grateful that we were able to provide these cats with safe and warm places to live. We also received some great feedback from a high-school student who attended a recent education presentation. This student is very interested in getting a dog. He informed us that he learned a lot from the presentation about what responsibilities are required in owning a dog and what the needs of the animal are.

Further Reading