According to Chinese astrology, this year is dedicated to our canine friends. The Year of the Dog brings an increase in social awareness, generosity and selflessness. We humans will be imbued with a dog's keen sense of right and wrong, a generous spirit and loyalty. A perfect tribute to our best friends!
Perhaps it is fitting that this year, PAWS is expanding its dog training classes to include several additional courses, based on the enthusiastic reception of the community to our Good Dog! Program, launched in 2005. Classes are open to guardians seeking to build a stronger and deeper understanding with their companion animals, and discover the tools for a long and happy life together.
Education has always been a key part of our mission here at PAWS, and we continually strive to find new and creative ways to engage adults and children alike in educational experiences. By promoting the value of all creatures and providing people of all ages with the information and tools they need to make a difference in the lives of animals, we will create systemic change.
In just one month last year, our staff and volunteers delivered 62 humane education classes and presentations, reaching nearly 800 young people with messages of compassion and respect for animals. Multiply those numbers over the course of a year, or two or three, and you really see the impact for the future. Our feature article focuses on how PAWS delivers classroom programs in ways that instill a strong sense of respect and reverence for all animals. I hope you enjoy it.
Of course, education can take many forms. This year we plan to extend our public education program by providing a practical and fun experience right here on our campus. By modifying our natural green space at the entrance to the Wildlife Center, we will create an interpretive trail system with seasonal exhibits for the public. It will especially engage young children to learn about wildlife and their natural habitats. To help build this unique and living "classroom," we seek master gardeners, landscaping expertise, and interested volunteers. Please contact us if you'd like to participate.
Each of us holds the power to make a difference in animals' lives. Not only in how we lead our lives, but in seizing opportunities to share our compassion with others. Please share this magazine with a friend unfamiliar with PAWS' work. Subscribe to our e-newsletters and encourage your co-workers to do the same. Take a moment to explain to a child why being kind to animals is important.
My best wishes for a happy Year of the Dog. Let's make them proud of us!