Rescue Camp will wrap up on Saturday with an adoption event at Murdoch’s starting at noon

Rescue Camp will wrap up on Saturday with an adoption event at Murdoch’s starting at noon

ROCK SPRINGS – There has recently been a push in Rock Springs to promote proper pet ownership and educate the public about issues surrounding the pet population.

One local program is bringing this education to the youth of the community while also letting them see first hand what it is like to work with pets and pet rescue on a daily basis.

This is the second year for Rescue Camp, which is sponsored by the Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). The camp, which takes place at the Red Desert Humane Society,  provides an opportunity for the younger generation to see what it takes to be involved in pet rescue. All the work the students do through the week ends with a pet adoption drive that takes place at Murdoch’s this Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

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The camp started with employees and members of the Red Desert Humane Society teaching the basics of animal behavior. The students also toured the shelter and learned about the rules and basics of the shelter. On the first day, they learned how to check a dog’s health while beginning work on advertising the adoption event.

On the next day of camp, the group met at the Red Desert Humane Society where they learned about pet training. Students also heard about the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

On Wednesday, camp participants tackled the difficult issue of euthanasia and pet overpopulation. In addition, they reviewed information on cats in shelters and how to check the health of cats and the importance of pet vaccinations.

On Thursday, campers toured the Rock Springs Animal Control office and had the opportunity to interact with the animal control workers. Red Desert Humane Society representative Melinda Baas said this is also one of the hardest days for the students as animal control brings four dogs out and the students can only take two with them while leaving the others behind.

“It’s one of the hard parts of being a rescue worker,” Baas said.

On Friday, the students presented to their parents about what the camp taught them. Student Olivia Uhrig said she learned the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Her favorite part of the camp was going to Rock Springs Animal Control and seeing a cat who just had kittens as well as working with the small puppies there.

Ethan Harper said he learned animal control is not as evil as it sounds or as evil as people make it out to be. He had a lot of favorites about the camp but said his least favorite part of camp was leaving every night. Harper said he will pass on what he has learned to people in the public and explain to them how important adoption is.

Max Radovanic said learning about the Hip to Snip program was important for him. During the camp, one dog is assigned to two students of the camp. Radovanic said spending time with his assigned dog Heidi was the best part of camp.

Also during the camp, each camper is challenged with raising money. Each students is given a little canister they could place to raise money. The program is called Pennies for Paws. In three day’s Radovanic raised $82. Between all the campers, they raised $233 in three and a half days through Pennies for Paws. When asked where he put his donation canister, he said he actually went through his neighborhood and going door to door to raise the money.

Iz’al Odom said he learned a lot about what animal control and the Humane Society do. He was also partnered with Radovanic and Heidi and said spending time with Heidi was his favorite part of camp. His least favorite, picking between which dogs would go and which ones would be left behind at animal control.

Alison Wheeler said her favorite part of the camp was learning how each animal has its own personality and each animal has its own story. Kennedy Nacey found techniques and history of animals to be fascinating. She explained how she learned poodles were the first hunting dogs and when you teach a dog to sit you should never push down on their hips because it can cause the dog a lot of pain but rather push down on the joint in their leg.

Stella Carlson also found facts about the animals a neat part of camp. She said she learned dogs sweat from their paws and dogs teeth need to be brushed. All three girls, Alison, Kennedy and Stella, said they want to continue to volunteer and tell people how important adoption is. Kennedy said she wants to put up the pictures of the animals at the humane society on Facebook to help them find homes quicker.

Catie Spann explained her favorite part was also getting to know the animals individually and also their personalities. Catie summed up what most all the campers said at one point or another.

“I want to tell people if they are going to give up their pets, don’t just throw them out,” she said. “Bring them to the humane society or animal control.”

Baas said rescue camp is important because it brings awareness to the younger residents of the community.

“It teaches the next generation how to be responsible pet owners,” Baas said.

The adoption event at Murdochs will start at noon and run until 3 p.m.

The camp is part of the BOCES summer programs and anyone interested in being part of the camp next year should register their child when BOCES opens up registration for its summer programs.