A day camp, run by the Humane Society in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is helping give abandoned pups a second chance at finding their forever home.
The day camp was designed to help teach children how to properly interact with dogs. It also helps the kids learn how to be responsible for a dog. In addition to giving the kids a lesson in dog care, the camp also gives rescue dogs the opportunity to be well socialized and ready for adoption. The extra love and attention for the dogs is an added bonus.
“Success is happy dogs and happy kids,” said camp founder Jennifer Ego, who also runs versions of the animal-themed day camps in several other Toronto and Ottawa locations.
Kids attending the camp train with the dog, as they teach their dog pal how to sit, stay, shake a paw, walk on a leash and other simple tricks. The lessons are led by local dog trainer, Margaret Pender. Each dog participating in the program has been assessed as safe to be around the children.
In addition to the lessons to the dogs, Pender states that she also teaches the children how to safely interact with a dog they have never met. Lessons include things like rubbing your hand under the dog’s snout, instead of patting the dog on top of the head.
Most importantly, however, the campers will develop a special love and respect towards animals, especially those who live in a shelter.
The camp, appropriately named “Pawsitively Pets”, increases the dog’s chance at being adopted into a home. So far, every dog that has participated in the program has found their forever home.
The reason behind the success of the program is that the shelter can advise potential families that the dog has undergone basic obedience lessons and have been socialized with children. These are the two most important factors new dog owners look for when adopting a pet.
Although the camp teaches children compassion for animals and how to care for the dogs, it does not encourage them to adopt any of the dogs right away. However, many of the campers cannot wait to one day adopt a furry friend into their home.