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What’s it like to spend a day at the animal shelter?

Photo of Barringer Road first grade students with Myrna, a former shelter dogBarringer Road first grade students learned what it is like to spend a day at an animal shelter. To wrap up their latest reading lessons about animals, on April 13th they received a visit from Myrna, a former shelter dog at the Herkimer County Humane Society accompanied by her human companion, Jodi Flo. Jodi is a volunteer at the humane society and shared tips on pet adoption and what it’s like to work at the shelter. From walking the dogs to cleaning cages, students learned about the shelter and what a typical day is like for the volunteers who help take care of the animals.

There is a lot to consider when thinking about adopting a pet. The first graders never thought about the long term costs involved such as veterinarian visits, food and supplies, not to mention the time and attention that is required to care for the new family member. Too often pets are adopted at shelters and then returned when owners find it is too costly or they just don’t have time to properly care for them.

Jodi went on to share about how to safely approach an unfamiliar dog.  Her first rule was to ask for permission from the owner.  She then demonstrated how to pet the dog so that the dog is not likely to feel threatened. “It is important for kids to know how to approach unfamiliar dogs,” said first grade teacher Stephanie Stzratter.

Photo of Barringer Road first grade students with Myrna, a former shelter dog“Kids get excited when they see a dog and sometimes approach too fast. This can create a potentially dangerous situation where dogs that are typically friendly become frightened and bite in an effort to protect themselves.”

Myrna’s visit was more than a lesson about volunteering and pet care. The students collected items to help the animals out at the humane society and were proud to present them to Jodi. The lessons turned into learning not only about animals, but caring and kindness.

On a final note, Jodi shared information about the upcoming Herkimer County Humane Society Mutt Strut on June 7 at Herkimer College. It is the organizations biggest fundraiser of the year and anyone can participate with their pet. No pet to walk? No problem, shelter pets will be available to walk with you.  Visit the Herkimer County Humane Society website for more information on the Mutt Strut or to volunteer at the shelter.

Photo of Barringer Road first grade students with Myrna, a former shelter dog