So this weekend I had a rare opportunity to hangout with my favourite 5 year old at the Vancouver SPCA. We went with a group of about 30 adults and kids with the intention that the kids could learn more about why animals are held there, how to meet them in kennels, and how to get an animal out of the shelter. I must say at first I was some what skeptical how the kids would receive the information (especially the wee one I brought), BUT the kids actually listened and interpreted pretty well, and I must applaud the SPCA volunteers for making their information so kid friendly.
Kids were taught how to approach the kennels, get low to the ground and let the dog sniff the back of your hand before you try to touch the dog. Keep quiet and calm and let the dog feel comfortable around you. The kids actually listened and asked really great questions. This leads me to believe that we can start targeting the younger generation to help these shelters and help the animals placed there.
One of the staff asked us, “Who here already owns a dog?” Not surprisingly I was the only one to raise my hand. Then she asked , “Who here already owns a cat?” Again, I was the only one to raise my hand and every one burst out laughing. Lots of people asked me questions about my pets, how I got them, etc.
Last week I posted about an American Staffordshire Terrier named Bugsy awaiting his home at the Vancouver SPCA. Well, to my delight I got to meet him. He was so sweet and so kind and surprisingly, even though he looks like a scary ‘Pit Bull’ he was everyone’s favourite dog. I thought for sure the cropped ears would scare everyone off but not at all. He was laying in his kennel just ignoring everyone but giving smiles, not jumping at the door and some people even expressed how surprised they were how well behaved he was for his breed.
The kids also learned about how easily pets can get sick and that they can sneeze and cough just like people do. The kids were fascinated by this and at the instruction of the staff didn’t pet the animals and go on to the next. They understood how easily pets can get other pets sick. They were however, able to spend some quality time with a Border Collie/ Cattle Dog cross named Amy (whom I’ll post a photo of at the bottom). She was FULL of energy but the kids adored her. They also loved being able to snuggle a guinea pig. It amazed me how many different types of pets the Vancouver SPCA branch can house–rabbits, cats, dogs, etc.
This shelter has definitely helped changed my mind about government funded rescue groups as they are doing a splendid job over there. Everything was clean, sanitary and well maintained and the animals had LOTS of treats, and outside time and all seemed very happy.