H.E.R.O. Summer Camp teaches children animal care through play
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MURRAY, UT (Aug. 3, 2017) --Campers are learning pet care and animal welfare issues at the Humane Society of Utah
Utah youth learn about important animal welfare issues while having fun at the Humane Society of Utah’s second annual H.E.R.O. (Humane Educators Reaching Out) Summer Camp for Kids presented by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. Four separate weeklong camps accommodating children grades 1st through 8th were held July 10 through Aug. 11, 2017. The camp is held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Humane Society of Utah facility located at 4242 S. 300 W. Murray, Utah. Children participate in age-appropriate games, workshops and presentations focused on proper pet care, the importance of spaying and neutering, animal welfare issues, how to meet a new dog, clicker training and more. The goal of the H.E.R.O. Camp is to foster empathy, compassion and respect for all animals through fun and engaging educational activities.
“We believe that it’s important to teach kids how to properly care for and respect animals to reduce future animal welfare problems,” said Caitlin Lisle, HSU humane education director. “If kids learn why it is important to spay or neuter their pets to prevent unwanted litters, get vaccinations to keep their pet healthy, provide proper care and prevent abuse or neglect, these lessons will hopefully spread to their family and friends and decrease the chances more animals will needlessly enter the shelter system. We also believe that empathy is crucial for kids to develop at an early age, it can affect how they treat other people.”
The Sorenson Legacy Foundation provided grant funds allowing 11 scholarships to be offered to students in need of financial assistance so that they could attend the camp.
H.E.R.O. campers enjoy special guest presentations from Banfield Pet Hospital ®, Scales and Tails Utah, Mountain America Credit Union, and older campers take a field trip to Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary on their final day. Along with daily interaction with HSU’s dogs, cats and various small pets, campers get the chance to see and learn about a variety of animals including parrots, chickens, reptiles, goats, pigs and other surprise visitors.
Campers keep a journal about what they have learned and experienced each day. At the end of the weeklong camp, a graduation ceremony is held Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and campers receive a certificate of completion from the camp counselors.
The H.E.R.O. Summer Children’s Camp is made possible by a grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and supporting sponsors, Rocky Mountain Power, Mountain America Credit Union, Banfield Pet Hospital ® and Albertsons.
Every day of the year, our Humane Education Team visits schools and conducts field trips. In 2016, over 10,000 children were taught about animal welfare and the inaugural H.E.R.O. Summer Camp lasted two weeks and educated 70 children. Because of the great success and interest, the 2017 camp was extended to four weeks.
The Humane Society of Utah is already planning to extend the camp in 2018 to accommodate even more children. Registration will begin March 2018.