Our children’s program is innovative and new. We take our therapy animals in to the “Shade Tree” Shelter and work directly with the children and their parents. We go in twice a week. Tuesdays are the children under 5 and Thursdays are children of varying ages including teenagers.
What we do is work with the children to first familiarize them with the animals and explain a little about the animal. Then we focus on care and treatment. We then move into how important it is to respect the animal and those weaker than they are. Then explain how important it is to respect each other. We are hoping to break the cycle of abuse not only with pets but with people.
We have already had small successes and encouragements. We know it is small steps but we do see a difference in some of the children we are working with.
As this is a new program we are slowly building it and taking input from educators and counselors at the shelter. We are all working together to make a community benefit.