Regional Animal Shelter Educates

This amazing program was started by one of our amazing volunteers, Bobbi Jo.

Bobbi Jo holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and owns and runs a preschool called Miss Bobbi Jo’s. She has volunteered at the Regional Animal Shelter for the past five years, since the shelter first opened up at the Annex.

Bobbi Jo takes her dog Ross, a Certified Therapy Dog to schools to give children some much needed information about being a responsible pet owner. She feels that it is so very important for children lo realize that owning a pet is a big commitment and to learn to recognize the signs of a neglected pet. Her thought as she sees many dogs come into the shelter is that if people were educated at a young age about the proper way to care for and love a dog, then eventually there would be less dogs waiting in shelters for forever homes.

Bobbi Jo has visited all the Johnstown Schools as well as other schools in the area. When h comes into the classroom she shows the children a video of shelter dogs from the Regional Animal Shelter, explaining what role the shelter plays in the community and how they themselves can have an impact by planning supply drives.
This year stie has taken RASE one step further il one special education class wtlose teacher asked her if she would like do an entire year curriculum in 2017, ooe 1/2 hour class a month. Her dog Ross attends each class wilf1 her and is a willing participant in the class. even having had his ears cleaned during one session! Another of Bobbi Jo’s lesson 􀐤ans include the chil­dren bellg able to walk Ross down the halls of the school so they can get a feel for the power RASEnsllu:D􀓅!i==!acbssNlhher of a bigger dog and the responsibility they have wtien they are holding that leastl. At the time of
this interview the students in the class were writing down some of the things they had learned about pel care as well as drawing pholos. Bobbi Jo wiN be bril{ling these pages to the printer and coming back with a book for the children as a keepsake for the class
Bobbi Jo is proud of how far RASE has already come and her hope is ttlat one day, many more stielters in the area win won,; with her to bmg this program into schools and clubs in their areas with ttle same basic hope of educaling young people to property care for pets. In addition to thal, she looks forward to the day when the Regional Animal Shelter il Gk>Versville is able to expand and move into a new, larger facility. Her goal is to have an “Education” Room where there could be sc.000I field trips to learn aoout pet care, as well as low cost hands on training with young dog owners so both could benefit from ii.
In addition to going into the schools, tfle RASE Program has also been used to train chikfren from the ages of 12· 15 on how to -WOOC-11 an aninal shelter. Last year the Board approved a program for 12-15 year olds to intern at the shelter by cleaning, painling and pickllg up yard waste in order to teach them what goes on at a stletter and how to take care of animals. The program lasts for 4 weeks. BefOfe the interns are chosen to partic􀍖te they must Wlite a short essay answemg specific questions about pets and their experience with them. 3 children signed up to come into the shelter for the first program and for the second program, which started on May 21 s􀍯 there were 12 children. At the end of each day there may be a socialization lime with wel-behaved stietter dogs wtlich only serves to make the experience even more of a posiwe one

If you would like more information about having Bobbi Jo bring the RASE Program into your school, or would like to sign up your child for future shelter programs, please email bobbijo@regionalanimalshetter.org or call the shelter for more information.