Guest blog post by Richard M., WHS Education Assistant Manager
Kittens and puppies are cute. There’s no getting away from it.
They’re tiny bundles of joy, wrapped in fur. In fact, I haven’t found anyone that dislikes them. One of the most memorable moments from WHS Kid Camps is when we bring an energetic, playful, friendly puppy into a room full of campers. The smiles, the ‘ahhhs’ and the frantic need to pet the puppy is something that always brings a smile to my face.
It’s easy to teach children to love a puppy or a kitten. What can be more difficult is teaching children why it is important to spay and neuter. When a pet is fixed they cannot reproduce, which means they cannot have a baby.
“We don’t hate baby animals, in fact we love them,” we assure campers when asked about spay or neutering. “But we need to make sure every baby animal has a home.”
This is how we explain to campers when they ask why we want fewer baby animals in our community.
Animal overpopulation – especially cats – can easily get out of hand when a pet is not spayed or neutered.
If one cat has six kittens, we can find homes for those kittens. But what if each of those kittens has six of their own kittens? And then those kittens have six kittens each? If the cycle continues it means there can be thousands of kittens that all need homes.
It’s much harder to find homes for thousands of kittens.
At WHS Kid Camp our campers get the chance to see a spay and neuter surgery at the WHS Clinic. There’s usually a mixture of emotions from campers when we tell them about seeing the surgery. Some think it’s cool, some think it’ll be gross, some are scared, some are nervous.
Campers are guided through the back of the shelter to the clinic, where there is an observation window in the operating rooms. This is where campers can view the surgery. Generally, there is a sense of fascination as they watch the skillful work of the clinic staff. There are always lots of questions and curiosity – especially from the ones who are thinking about becoming veterinarians themselves! It’s amazing to see the campers engaging with the process of spay and neuter and understanding why it is such an important undertaking.
It is a memorable part of camp that all the children remember and talk about! For myself, coming from an animal shelter background and an educational point of view, it is such a unique opportunity to show these campers what we do and why it matters.
We’d love for your child to join us and learn more about everything the WHS does to promote animal welfare and find homes for over 8,000 animals each year.
There are still spots available for WHS Spring Break Kid Camp from March 26 – 29. Register today!
We can’t wait to see you there.
WHS Education Assistant Manager