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Cache Humane Society: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

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

Support from the Petfinder Foundation and Build-a-Bear was used to expand our two popular on-site education programs:

1. Paws Academy: A semester-long after-school program for children ages 6-15 who want to learn about responsible pet ownership, acquire animal care and clinical skills, participate in community outreach, and make fun arts and crafts. Children also help organize shelter dog playgroups under supervision of our positive behavior trainer. Petfinder Foundation support allowed us to add an additional day per week and split into smaller age groups.

2. Off-Leash Youth Camps: One- to three-day summer day camps with programs in positive animal training and compassionate care, participation in shelter dog playgroups, and introduction to careers in animal welfare. Participants meet local professionals, learn about current community issues, and develop volunteer and business ideas for helping companion animals in Cache Valley. Our six camps sold out in 2015, and Petfinder Foundation support helped us add two additional camps for summer 2016.

Our youth education programs are focused on raising the next generation of loving pet owners. We emphasize positive training methods and responsible care of all companion animals. We believe that youth education will help our organization and our community by bringing the principles of compassionate animal welfare into more homes.

Our pets benefit from socialization with children of all ages and experience levels. Our older participants also host play groups under professional supervision. All adoptable cats and dogs that participate in our youth groups receive special badges on their kennels indicating that they are exceptional with children. These shelter animals are often adopted more quickly because of their positive experience with kids.

How many pets did this grant help?

100

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

Bosley was 119 lbs. of muscle and love, but he’d spent over three months in the shelter without a single interested adopter. He looked intimidating in his kennel and families tended to shy away. He quickly became a favorite of our Off-Leash Summer Camp participants when they discovered that he loved to splash around in the kiddie pool with them. Bosley’s goofy pool pictures made him a Facebook star and helped him find a wonderful home with plenty of kids to romp with every day.

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