Finding Furever Homes For National Puppy Day

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National Puppy Day

Puppies!!!! Who doesn't love puppies?  They're cute, they're happy and they're tiny bundles of joy. National Puppy Day was March 23rd this year, and it's a great way to introduce community service to your middle school kids.

Buttercup the pittie

Community Service 

Every year, I partner with two local shelters, Unwanted NYC Pets, and Sean Casey Animal Rescue, in Brooklyn, New York.  I take my kids to Sean Casey and we walk the shelter dogs to help out. Each small group gets a homeless pup and we walk him or her around the neighborhood.  For some kids, this is their first up close interaction with dogs, they all love it.  It doesn’t stop there though.  We then try to get those fur babies ADOPTED!!!!  We create posters and fliers to put around the school, neighborhood, and apartment buildings to get them loving furever homes.  Here are last year’s websites: Furever Homes and Roots and Shoots.  And look how much fun we had walking those cuties!
    
Joey the Beagle

If that weren’t enough for my fabulous kids to do, we also fundraise!  We sell snacks at dances to donate to the medical care of the rescued dogs at Unwanted NYC Pets.  And because we rock it super hard, we collect doggie treats to bring to the dogs at the kill shelters at Christmas time.  That way they have a nice treat before they’re euthanized.
Selling Snacks at the Halloween Dance


Tying it All Together

So yes, my kids love helping out these dogs (and cats sometimes).  They feel proud of themselves, their confidence and self-worth grows exponentially.  They know they are helping animals who really need it, and even though none of the dogs have officially been adopted through our direct efforts, they are getting the word out there and raising awareness in the community.  But how does this tie into ELA? By connecting it to a book about a former bait dog who found his furever home, my Oogy Book Study.  My kids learn about the horrors and effects of dog fighting and the beauty of adopting a pet, write persuasive letters to the local council member to ask for harsher punishments for animal abusers and dog fighters, create posters and websites to teach our school mates what the real story behind dog fighting is, and write persuasive essays about animal adoption, spaying and neutering pets, and animal abuse laws, Persuasive Writing Guide.

Poster Project

The Outcome

That’s not bad for a bunch of 11-12 year olds, and they’re teaching their brothers and sisters, cousins, parents, and one day their own kids.  And when they are old enough to vote, they will make a real difference in the humane treatment of animals.  They know that everyone can make a difference if they care enough.  Just saying something is horrible will not effect change; you have to stand up for what you believe in and get hands-on with the projects you care most about.  I am beyond proud of my kids, they make me and a bunch of homeless pets smile every single day.

by XClass to the Rescue

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