We hope you all had a great summer! At Calgary Humane Society, we are winding down from another successful season of summer camps that saw hundreds of compassionate children and teens spend a summer learning how to care for animals.
Helping animals is a great way for kids to become involved with their community! Many children feel a connection to the natural world and enjoy learning about animals of all shapes and sizes, but these interactions build more than just knowledge! Research has shown that children who spend time with animals learn enhance many social skills including:
- Empathy – Empathy is considered by many psychologists to be the root of “pro-social” behavior. Pro-social behaviors are the behaviors that allow us to build relationships, maintain friendships and connect with our communities. Interacting with animals allows children to practice skills of non-verbal empathy as they try to understand how an animal is experiencing the world.
- Compassion – Empathy is a foundation for understanding others, but compassion moves those feelings into action. Through acting compassionately, children learn that they can have a profound impact on the community around them and that they play a key role in “creating the world they want to live in”.
- Respect – When children help others they learn more about why other people (and animals) sometimes need help, and why needing help is not a bad thing. Through helping animals, children learn that even the smallest fish deserves to have good food and a safe home by virtue of being a living, thinking, feeling being.
Are you looking for a great way for your child to become more involved in helping animals? We would love to help! While our minimum age to volunteer is 16 (for safety reasons) we have many great programs for kids of all ages!
- Attend a youth program! Children in our kids’ clubs and youth programs get to participate in select animal interactions with carefully chosen animals and complete fun activities with animal loving peers!
- Party with a purpose! Check out Calgary Humane Society’s birthday party program and spend your next birthday with us! Our experienced birthday staff lead the party for you – all you do is bring the cake and presents!
- Collect donations/wish list items – Another great way to get kids involved in helping is to raise funds or collect items for animals in need! Kids who collect donations for the shelter can book a special ‘behind the scenes’ tour with our humane education department too!
- Take great care of your pets! Your child can be an “ambassador” for great animal care by encouraging them to learn more about your pets and help with their care.
Looking for more information on our programs or more ideas on how to get your child involved in helping animals? Our Humane Education team would love to help! Visit www.calgaryhumane.ca or call 403-205-4455 for more information.