Bellwether Harbor’s Pet Pals Summer Program focuses on keeping animals healthy
Students from 8 to 14 were able to weigh kittens, scrub a dirty dog, learn the basics of dog obedience and much more through the annual Pet Pals Summer Program at Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter and Training Facility, 7645 W. 48th St.
“Pet Pals is a great way to teach humane and responsible pet ownership in a fun way,” said Danielle Merrill, Bellwether Executive Director. “The dogs and cats love the attention and the students learn the proper etiquette to interact with dogs and cats they don’t know.”
During the morning of June 20, students broke into small groups to learn about grooming, animal health, dog training, and pet safety. Students practiced dog obedience by working on sit and heel commands as well agility training. During pet safety, they practiced techniques to do if encountering a stray dog or an unknown dog on a leash with its owner. Students got a little wet while giving baths and brushing animals in the grooming piece. While learning about animal careers from a veterinarian technician, they listened to kitty heart beats, examined ear mites under a microscope, saw what a heartworm looks like, determined the sex of an animal and most importantly just cuddled and petted the dogs and cats.
“Everyone wants a cute little kitten or puppy. We want them to know that owning an animal is rewarding but requires a lot of attention and work,” Merrill added.
Another session of Pet Pals is scheduled for Aug. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon. The day is limited to 20 students due to the hands-on nature of the program. Pet Pals costs $25 per child, which includes all materials, a snack and a donation to help care for the animals. Only a paid registration will hold a spot. For more information or to register, please call Bellwether Harbor at 231-924-9230.