- Animal Care
- Medical Center
- How You Can Help
- News & Events
- About Us
D.C. Police Department and the League Collaborate on Caring Kids Camp
August 10, 2010
(August 9, 2010) Washington, DC—The Caring Kids Camp, a collaboration between the Washington Animal Rescue League and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, fosters relationships with animals as a means of encouraging empathy in children and helping them mature into kind, thoughtful, engaged members of the community.
On Tuesday, August 10, D.C. Fire Department Sergeant Chris Holmes, Arson Investigator Rodney Taylor, and both their K-9 partners will demonstrate how they work with their dogs to accomplish things they could not do on their own. They will also discuss how their dogs live with them at home as part of the family. In so doing, the officers will provide a model of the sort of productive and trusting relationships that can be built between people and animals. For many of the children, who may never have witnessed anything comparable, this may be new and eye-opening experience.
“The Caring Kids Camp offers children positive interactions with animals—perhaps for the first time,” MPD Neighborhood Resource Officer Heather Straker points out. “This leads to empathy, and empathy leads to responsibility. Prevention is always preferable to intervention.”
Campers attending the week-long camp, which runs August 9-13, will visit with cats and dogs at the League, tour the League’s Medical Center, meet rescue teams with their K-9 companions, visit a farm animal sanctuary and horse rescue group, and learn animal illustration from a local artist who features dogs and cats in her work. The fifteen income-qualified campers are between 10 and 12 years old and were chosen with the help of the police department.
“Establishing a bond between kids and animals is important on many fronts,” according to Debbie Duel, the League’s humane educator. “It helps them learn about animal care, but it also empowers them to speak up for animals and, in a broader sense, shows them that they can be agents of positive change.”
To that end, the children will learn about ways they can help animals in the community—by adopting from shelters, finding affordable veterinary care, and even reporting animals in trouble to the proper agencies. The camp also incorporates a creative component by utilizing animal-themed books, journals, and a visit by a prominent local illustrator.
Click here to view the PDF of this press release.