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
School’s out now and that means TLC’s Mini Paws junior volunteers have turned their attention to their annual Saving Southern Souls project. This is the 4th year for the program which involves the kids reviewing the list of dogs at high risk of euthanasia at our southern shelter partners and picking one of those dogs to sponsor by raising funds to pay for the dog’s vet care and pull/transport fees. Whenever possible, we also encourage one of the Mini Paw families to foster their dog as well.
This year, the kids have decided to rescue a senior dog named Maxwell to be the Saving Southern Souls dog. Maxwell is an 8-year-old, male, Lab-Shepherd mix surrendered to animal control after his owner died. At 44 pounds, he was drastically underweight & showed signs of malnutrition; he also tested positive for Heartworm.
At the April Mini Paws meeting, the kids learned about service & therapy dogs. We’re lucky that we have two volunteers within our own organization to present to us and explain how some of our own TLC alumni have gone on to be certified to do these important jobs. Since so many people don’t know the difference between a service dog and a therapy dog or emotional support dog, our presenters explained that a service dog is trained to do specific tasks to assist their person which is why they are permitted to go anywhere with them under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
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.