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

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

Your donation funded almost all (16 out of 18) of the Humane IQ programs taught since the beginning of this school year. Program costs included bus transportation for the students to visit our shelter and materials and resources given to the teachers and students. Students were given folders, bookmarks, activity books, bracelets with our Animal Cruelty Taskforce hotline number on them and a classroom subscription to Kind News, a bimonthly humane-education publication for youth. Since the start of this 2017-2018 school year:

Participating Schools: Nine schools from four targeted districts
Total # of programs taught: 18. This includes nine shelter field trips and nine outreach assemblies
Children Taught: 2,992 children in grades K-6, and an immeasurable number of teachers and parents. (384 field-trip participants and 2,608 school-assembly participants)

Your grant helped the pets in our care in several ways. It allowed us to bring 384 fifth and sixth graders from disadvantaged schools to visit our shelter to learn about the plight of animals in our community, to connect with them and develop empathy for our shelter animals; it also gave them the unique opportunity to read to them while providing comfort and companionship.

In addition, the students who visited felt compelled to rise to our challenge and organize donation drives at their schools. Their school-wide participation resulted in thousands of donated stuffed animals (cage buddies), towels and blankets that were put to immediate use comforting the animals in our shelter.

During these last few months, we have had many animals in our shelter who were transported here by our Disaster Response Teams following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. These animals were brought here to make room in shelters for displaced animals in the hurricane-ravaged areas. As you can imagine, many of these animals were shy and frightened and many of them were heartworm-positive and needed weeks of treatment. These animals really benefited from the companionship and compassion the students demonstrated while visiting and reading to them.

How many pets did this grant help?

We average about 100 dogs, cats and critters on the adoption floor on any given day, and these animals would have been the ones directly benefiting from the personal attention and companionship of the students.

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

Schwarzenegger stayed at HSMO for a while. As he awaited his forever family, he benefited from the children reading to our shelter animals. From his STLToday Pet of the Week posting: “Schwarzenegger is a spunky 2-year-old pit bull terrier with a soft, golden coat and a love for all of his human friends. This muscular pup has the brains to match the brawn, and already knows how to sit on command. With his intelligence and eager-to-please personality, he could certainly be taught to do more! Schwarzenegger walks well on a leash, and has shown a preference for going outside to use the bathroom while at the Humane Society of Missouri. Schwarzenegger will be the perfect family dog!” Schwarzenegger finally found his forever home at the very end of September. His adoption photo is at right.

Further Reading