If you are in the Raleigh Durham area and would like to help teach kids or grown ups about responsible pet care, about safety around animals and why adoption is better than buying, Cuda and I will be happy to come speak to your group!
Cuda is gentle and quiet and loves people. Kids love her and she loves them back. Sometimes we take for granted that proper care and behavior around animals is instinct. I've seen light bulbs brighten in the eyes of little ones when they realize that dogs and cats can't express pain the same way as people and cannot fetch their own water or food. Dogs need to be taught that pooping and peeing in the house is a no-no and that people have to help them learn that. Chewing, jumping and barking are other behaviors we need to correct.
One of my favorite tools to teach people involve safety around dog and cats we don't know. Picking up a cat of your own can sometimes result in a scratch so picking up a stray cat can be dangerous. Famous last words, "He won't bite" often result in bites! I ask kids in classrooms if they've ever been chased by a dog and hands shoot up all over the room. The "tree" is very useful in keeping you safe from a running dog. Loose dogs will look at you as prey or toy and it is not often you can out run them. Although it feels unnatural, remaining still as a tree will cause the dog to lose interest in you and move on.
I also teach people about caution around wild life, especially bats. It is never safe to handle a bat, even when deceased. While the rabies virus requires a live host, dead bats still shouldn't be handled. It's best to contact your local agency when one is in your house. If you've been exposed to a bat, it should be tested for rabies as they are known carriers. In order to test a bat, its head/brain must remain intact, so smashing one to bits is not a great idea! Pets and people can be bitten by bats without ever knowing it so if one is in your house, think about letting the agency pick it up rather than letting it fly free. Bat poop (guano) is toxic to humans so don't tackle that attic on your own. Call a professional trained to do that.
Soooo, if you are interested, please let us know- we love working with people and helping them learn about animal care and safety!
Cuda & Julie