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Brother Wolf Animal Rescue: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

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

Educational materials -- students engaged in hands-on activities where they learned about the following:
1. how animals end up in shelters
2. what to do when spotting a stray dog
3. how to properly care for a pet and the responsibilities of caring for a pet throughout the animal’s lifetime.
4. safe toys and foods vs. unsafe toys and foods.
5. the importance of spaying and neutering pets to prevent overpopulation and homelessness
6. creating a no-kill community through activism and education
7. heartworm prevention
8. animal safety
9. why adopting is better than shopping and how puppy mills and exotic pet stores contribute to animal cruelty.

School buses: Brother Wolf Humane Education programming agreed to cover the cost of buses for field trips to provide this opportunity to schools in underserved communities.

Reaching young people at an early age is the only way ensure that the next generation of pet owners will be responsible, compassionate, and kind animal advocates. Based on previous success and interest in youth programming, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue developed a comprehensive, four-week pilot humane-education program in which three local schools participated. By further extending our youth programming to be included during regular school hours and within the classroom (aligning with common core standards), more students were offered the opportunity to learn how to take care of and advocate for pets. The program included:
i. Weekly visits from the humane educator with special guest speakers in animal rescue (including, but not limited to: K9 units, animal control, Brother Wolf staff writers, rapid response, and TNR (trap, neuter, release) staff, Brother Wolf social media and marketing professionals, etc.) to show young people all of the different careers they can be involved in to save animals.
ii. Weekly hands-on activities directly facilitated by the humane educator. Students made treat hiders, snuffle rugs, and chew toys to keep the animals at our shelter mentally stimulated.
iii. Students chose certain animals in our shelter who needed a little extra push for promotion (long-term residents and pit bulls, specifically) for adoption and created profiles and adoption pamphlets for them along with hand-drawn portraits.
iv. Students made thank-you cards to future adoptive parents to put in the profiles of dogs and cats in our care.
v. Students completed the program with a service-learning project of their choice and received customized certificates of achievement as animal upstanders upon completion of the four-week program (curriculum attached).
vi. Each school participated in one trip to the Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Adoption Center and one trip to the Brother Wolf Farm Animal Sanctuary where they volunteered by socializing animals, cleaning living areas, learning about how to interact with the animals, and reading their body language and behavior.

How many pets did this grant help?

Just through social-media exposure of dogs, rabbits, and cats within the community schools and interacting with students, each dog (three in total: Shiloh, Bobo, and Sundance) and one rabbit were adopted after adoptive parents saw these posts on our Brother Wolf Education Outreach Facebook page. More than 80 animals in our care received enrichment toys made by the students.

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

Sundance (first and second photos) came to us from McDowell County, NC, in January of 2017 and was heartworm-positive. A brown boxer mix with an adorable underbite, he had been with us for almost nine months – way too long for this sweet 3-year-old to be living at our shelter. Great with kids, Sundance was the perfect candidate to bring out into the community to interact with students at the schools participating in our humane-education program. Sundance visited two elementary schools over the course of four weeks and interacted with more than 100 students. He was the perfect humane-education ambassador. He shined. He was happy to be out of the shelter on the days he was out in the community, he loved car rides, and he especially enjoyed gently taking treats from kids learning how to properly interact with pets. After multiple social-media posts of Sundance playing with students, he started to get more attention from possible adoptive parents. Then, three days before Halloween, he went to his forever home with his new dad, Daniel, who was over the moon in love with Sundance. Sundance has star quality! He just needed a chance to show it.

Further Reading