Mini Paws Junior Volunteers
Mini Paws, our program for boys & girls 4-18, is designed to train our junior volunteers in proper animal care and instill a love of community service. Through monthly meetings our Mini Paws are educated about responsible pet ownership by learning the importance of proper veterinary care, grooming & dog handling. They’re also given the skills to feel confident in public speaking, the opportunity to participate in peer-to-peer educational programs, and encouraged put their new found leadership skills to use by developing and/or leading community projects of their own. Some of them even foster our available dogs in their own homes. In addition to fundraising for our own rescue, they also work to help raise funds for other charities and organizations. They are an amazing group of young ladies and gentlemen!
If there's a child in your family interested in a fun volunteering opportunity, please consider submitting a volunteer application.
Mini Paws Program Overview
Mini Paws News
The March Mini Paws March meeting was both educational and philanthropic. K9 soldiers don’t get a lot of publicity, so we thought it was not only important for the kids to learn how they protect us and the history of military working dogs, but to also do something to help them as well. We also learned a little about how dogs are identified and chosen for their jobs, and a little about the combat training they receive.
Our junior volunteers also spent the past month collecting donations for the United States War Dogs Association, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the long history of the Military Service Dogs, establishing permanent War Dog Memorials, and educating the public about the invaluable service of these canines to our country. After the presentation, the kids packed up 7 boxes of supplies & goodies they’d collected to send to our military working dogs and their handlers. They actually had so many items, they ran out of boxes and will need to get together again to pack up the rest of the donation to ship out soon.
Thanks to all our Mini Paws in attendance and to other families who contributed to this great cause.
File this under “better late than never” One of the fun traditions TLC Mini Paws junior volunteers have is a Christmas visit to Sunrise Senior Living in Exton. The kid bring Christmas stockings for the residents, bring a few dogs and sing some carols. Unfortunately, their December visit ended up being canceled due to the weather and their visit had to be delayed until after the holidays. Of course, as much as the residents enjoy the caroling & the kids, what they really love the best about these visits is the quality cuddle time they get with the pups, and since Trixie & Darla were happy to join in the fun, the residents didn’t mind the delay at all.
TLC Mini Paws, Gabriel, Mason, Sebastian, Ryan, Cassidy, and Devon went to Shamrock Adventures Camp to speak to their campers and 20, preschool/kindergarten aged, “Lil Shamrocks” on Friday, July 8th. We were very happy with the warm welcome we got from the campers, and our Mini Paws really enjoyed being able to explain what it means to be a responsible pet owner, how to behave around dogs and, of course, what animal rescue is all about.
TLC’s Mini Paws Junior Volunteers are at it again! This is the third year for the Saving Southern Souls program in which they help an at-risk dog rescued from a southern shelter.
This time around, the kids have chosen to sponsor a 3-4 year-old, pregnant, Shepherd-Lab mix named Louise. Louise was transported to TLC last February and gave birth to 9 beautiful puppies en route. While all of Louise’s pups have started their happily ever afters with wonderful furever families, Louise has some medical issues to be addressed before she is ready for adoption herself.
Louise has Heartworm which is a mosquito-born disease that is easily prevented with monthly preventatives. While Heartworm preventatives are easy to give (dogs think they’re treats) and inexpensive, treatment for Heartworm is expensive and takes a months of care. The cost to treat Louise’s Heartworm is in excess of $1,000. Raising Aid For Dogs At Risk (RADAR) has, generously, pledged to donate $250 of that cost but we still need to raise the rest.
If you’re following the Facebook/Twitter hashtag of #LydiaLearns, you’re familiar with Lydia being trained to become a service dog for a veteran through Alpha Bravo Canine. Last night, Lydia wasn’t the one learning, she was the one teaching. Lydia & Jennifer Green, founder of Alpha Bravo Canine, spoke to the Mini Paws about the wonderful work they do. Jennifer trains dogs to help veterans who struggle to adapt to life after coming home from war. She started this incredible organization after her son, Kevin, returned from war with a brain injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is her way of giving back to veterans in need.
Jennifer takes her time evaluating dogs. It is a challenge to choose the right dog because they must be “perfect” in every way since they are assisting a human. Dogs can’t be prey driven, be startled by things, or jump on people. It’s a challenging task. Jennifer started less than a year ago with the intention of training two dogs; she is now training four. Although most dogs are started as puppies, Jennifer has a veteran/husky combination she is working with now on training and this pup is 5 years old. So, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!