Wade might not be the cutest dog at HAWS. And he certainly isn't the most playful. But despite his disability, or perhaps because of it, he has captured the hearts of several of our Critter Club members.
At last nights club meeting the middle school aged members spent part of their time at HAWS training some of the shelter dogs. Like many shelters, HAWS has a large number of ill-mannered adolescent aged dogs that benefit from training to make their adoption more likely. The kids greatly enjoyed working with the dogs during the training session.
The last half hour of the meeting the kids were allowed to socialize the animal of their choice. Out of all the animals they could have chosen, Jennifer and Caitlin were excited to be able to spend some time with Wayde - an 8 year old blind terrier mix. Expressing their love for him and how wonderful they think he is, the girls quickly brought him into an interview room and spent the next 30 minutes telling him how wonderful he is, and giving him non-stop petting.
One of HAWS goals in our education program is to instill empathy for all living creatures. I don't know if the programs are working, or if we just happy to be attracting kids who are already outstanding animal ambassadors to our programs. Either way, it makes me happy to see young people be able to appreciate an animal who isn't young, cute and energetic. It's spending time with kids like this that make my job truly worthwhile.
My name is Khris Erickson, and I'm the Humane Educator at HAWS. Animal shelters do much more than take in and adopt out animals - education is a huge part of the process.
I started this blog because there are so many interesting things that happen in the education department, I meet many interesting people, and although I'm supposed to be educating, I often learn new things in the course of doing my job.
I hope you'll enjoy what I have to say, maybe learn something new, and contribute by commenting on my posts.
Humane Animal Welfare Society Waukesha, WI
The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County leads the community in animal welfare and assures sanctuary for animals in need.
Humane:marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals Education:the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process (according to Mirriam-Webster's Dictionary)