NEW YORK— It couldn’t be more true that the children of today are our future tomorrow, so it’s important to teach them valuable lessons about animal welfare. In Washington Heights, a non-profit called A Fair Shake has developed a structured weekly program to do just that. A group of middle school students meets with specially trained dogs once a week in hopes of building a sense of compassion for the well-being of other animals.
The program aims to help these students build their self-esteem, which leads to a greater sense of empathy and could make them more aware of potential cruelty occurring in their communities. The students enjoy their time with the different dogs that come to visit and learn how to properly interact with them. They’ve even been able to learn some training techniques for dogs.
The classes tackle topics like puppy mills and neglect, and the students are always reminded to contact the authorities if they suspect something is happening to an animal or dial 911 if there is an animal emergency. Of course, the students say their favorite part is getting to dole out belly rubs to the amenable pups. The ASPCA has been helping to fund the program, which will expand this year to include two summer camps.
1. NY Daily News 2. Photo Credits: James Keivom