Kids and animals make for fun and learning

By Barbara Webber

On February 10, the teachers and students of the Escuela de Educación Especial de SMA, a school serving deaf students now starting its second year, visited the SPA. SPA Director Lynn Weisberg led a tour of the facilities with included the clinic, the cat area, the dog area, the dog exercise area and, finally, the puppy area.

In the cat area, the students were able to play with and hold some cats and kittens. The tour of the dog area created much excitement for both dogs and students. I saw a lot of phone photos being taken.

At the end of the tour, with everyone gathered in the puppy area, our vet tech, Maite Del Campo Guzmán, talked about what the SPA does for the animals and the people of San Miguel. She also described her job and what educational background she needed to get that job. Students asked questions using sign language, which their teacher then translated to Maite. It was a learning experience made fun with several puppies in children’s laps and others running around. The kids headed back to school after enjoying homemade chocolate chip cookies.

This visit was the first in a program of continuing visits. The next visit will be at the school and we’ll bring some kittens for company and enjoyment.

The program will be a fun way for the students to learn about animals and the jobs available in the field of veterinary care. Reaching out to the community in programs like this one is one way the SPA can help teach children how wonderful animals are, how to treat them kindly, and not to be afraid of them. Maybe the SPA will gain some new volunteers when school is out! We always need volunteers to sit and play with cats, kittens, and puppies and to walk dogs. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. The animals get playtime and exercise and volunteers always enjoy the experience. Dog walkers get the extra benefit of exercise – increasing stamina, building muscle- all for a good cause. Volunteer hours are Monday-Saturday from 11am-2pm, Los Pinos 7, 152-6124. Try it! You and we will like it!


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