UNION — Mrs. Hayes’ 5th grade class at Foster Park Elementary School has been learning about prevention of animal cruelty during the month of April.
In honor of Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month, they have been sponsoring a donation drive at Foster Park to benefit the Union County Animal Shelter. Mrs. Hayes’ class invited Ms. Sarah Lewis, Union County School Psychologist, to come and speak with the entire 5th grade about animal cruelty and what they can do to help.
Ms. Lewis runs Halfway There Rescue group which she started in 2012. Halfway There works closely with the Union County Animal Shelter to pull dogs and foster them until they are adopted into their forever homes. Ms. Lewis spoke to the students about the overpopulation problem in Union and the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. The students learned that if they could help control the animal population, there would be no need for a shelter. They were also encouraged to adopt a shelter pet rather than buy a dog from a breeder.
Ms. Lewis told the students that if they had a female dog that was not spayed, Halfway There Rescue would pay for the spay surgery in an effort to help control the animal population. She passed out cards with the rescue group’s contact information for the students to take home to their parents.
Ms. Lewis also spoke about the proper care dogs require. She taught the students that chaining, or keeping your dog in a pen is not a very good life for the dog. Ms. Lewis had Mrs. Hayes simulate what a dog’s life would be like on a chain. She showed the students how a dog on a chain can’t reach objects that roll out of reach, how a mama dog may not be able to get to her puppies if they move out of the boundaries of the chain, and how a dog on a chain can not get away from other dogs who may come on their property.
Ms. Lewis ended the program with a surprise visit from Lady Bird and her puppies. Lady Bird was rescued from the Union County Animal Shelter while she was pregnant. She had her puppies while in the care of Halfway There Rescue. Lady Bird has even adopted an orphaned puppy as her own and included it in her own litter. The students enjoyed holding and petting Lady Bird and her puppies.