Every day we hear people complaining that people just do not have the character they used to, but a Valley group is hoping to change all of that through a unique program for children.
Kris Haley is giving kids a chance to help the Arizona Humane Society find good homes for all of its furry friends.
“They select one animal and it has to be a lonely hearts club member, which means they have been here for a long period of time, or a prime-time pet which means they're older than five years old,” Haley, who is the Humane Education specialist, says.
“They create little frames that fit on the pictures that go on the kennel cards. They do thought bubbles. They do biography sheets,” Haley continues. “They do everything they can and sometimes they even go out there themselves, like sales people, and convince our customers on which animals they should be looking at.”
Being a shelter buddy is just one of the things they get to experience at the Arizona Humane Society's Camp Compassion.
“We feel that the most important thing we can contribute to the lives of children is give them a sense of empathy and empathy quickly leads to compassion and action,” Haley says.
Activities and crafts at the camp are designed to build a child's character.
“Humane education is framework that fits over any type of model and it really about our relationships with each other, planet and with animals,” Haley says. “We couple that with character education so that there is a blended model. The six pillars of character are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.”
Haley believes once children develop compassion for the animals, it will make them more compassionate in other areas of their lives.
“I just love being able to get the animals adopted, which is my favorite part here,” camper Storrie Casaus says.
“I love that we get to do so many activities that help the animals, all the animals,” another camper Dakota Engelbeck adds.
“Animals are wonderful teachers and they take those lessons back into their communities, schools and faith organizations and they create change for animals there.” Haley says.
If you would like to find out how your child can participate, go to the Humane Society's Camp Compassion.