By Katie Amrhein, Community Outreach Educator
'Twas several nights before Christmas, and all throughout PAWS, homeless dogs and cats are finding new homes in time for the holidays, while our overwintering wildlife patients are safe in the care of our dedicated rehabilitators.
There's also an animal out there who's working harder than ever during the holiday season and who—though rarely given a second thought by most adults—is on the minds of many of the kids we're welcoming to our education programs right now.
When fourth grade students in a recent Kids Who Care program were asked to choose a favorite animal and consider how to meet that animal's basic needs, most students chose an animal like an owl, squirrel or cat.
One student chose a reindeer. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, to be precise.
He may seem like a fictional creature to you, but to some kids, Rudolph is the epitome of an amazing animal who we share the world with. After all, he has the same basic needs as all other animals. He needs food (carrots), water (normal water), shelter (North Pole), family (Mrs. and Mr. Santa Clause), space (horse’s barn), and exercise (running in the air).
So, this holiday season, remember all the creatures, big and small, who we share the world with. And consider how all of these different animals can provide opportunities for kids to connect with them and want to help.
Whether it be the squirrel in your backyard, the dog curled up at your feet, or the reindeer flying through the night sky on Christmas Eve, let's celebrate the ways kids and adults show compassion and help animals.
If you feel inspired to give, consider donating to support our education programs, such as Kids Who Care.
You can find out more information about scheduling a Kids Who Care program in your school here.
Find out more about Scout Programs and other engaging activities for young people at PAWS.