Dogs are basically furry angels that bring us tidings of cuddles and joy. Humans? Well, that’s where things get a little ruff. Turns out, though, that teaching kids how to be kind to pups (easy–they’re perfect) can help them learn to be kind to people (much harder. Dog help us all). By harnessing the power of the canine spirit, The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Canines for Kindness program’s gonna make Chi’s next gen a whole heckload nicer.
And the real nutty butter on top? You can get it goin’ at a school near you. (Nuff said? Nominate a school full of kids right now at the end of this article.)
This transformative initiative has already been making tails wag throughout the city, and for good reason. Canines for Kindness launched this summer at Chicago Park District camps and the impact has already been astounding.
“Every camp director in town talks about how much their campers enjoyed it,” said Elliott Serrano, Community Programs Manager for the The Anti-Cruelty Society.
But it ain’t just any dogs settin’ us all straight. It’s two of the very *goodest* dogs. And their dad (hey, someone’s gotta drive).
Enter renowned trainer Jeff Jenkins, lead trainer of the Humane Society of the U.S.’s End Dogfighting Campaign who first worked with the Society teaching youth in three local correctional facilities positive alternatives to dogfighting (nbd). Oh, and the real MVPs–his doggos June Bug and Rosie Rae (of Midnight Circus fame).
As kiddos watch the pups show off their skills, they learn about the importance of being kind to pets as well as to one another. Then, the smol humans get to take turns walking June Bug and Rosie Rae through an agility course–during which time they observe how truly impactful their positive words can be.
Already, Canines for Kindness is poised to create major change in both the lives of children it serves as well as the community at large.
“We’re gonna see a lot of folks showing a lot of patience, positivity, and kindness with their pets. Especially dogs that come from really rough backgrounds,” said Serrano. “The way the household pet is treated is the cornerstone of what kids learn about relationships.”
More nice people? We’re in.
Want Canines for Kindness to come to your school in 2020? Nominate a school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the school, location, and grade levels served. If you are a teacher or principal, please include your contact info. And if you are a parent, please include your child’s teacher or principal on the email so they can secure a date that works.
(Top photo by The Anti-Cruelty Society)
This article was made paw-sible by our partners at The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago’s oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization. It cares for and protects animals by facilitating adoptions, providing affordable spay/neuter surgeries, and building a community of caring through outreach and education. Check out its outstanding community programs and adoptable pets today.
Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our dog-obsessed Facebook group.
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