Research demonstrates very tangible benefits to children who form bonds with animals:
Children who form a bond with their companion animal score higher on measures of social competence and empathy.
Children perceive their pets as special friends, important family members, and providers of social interactions, affection, and emotional support.
Children who had a pet during their childhood were more empathetic, more prone to enter a helping profession, and were more oriented toward social values than those withou ta pet.
Animals can facilitate social interaction between children: When an animal is present, children are more likely to interact with a disabled child.
Children who had increased empathy scores because of their relationship with their pets also showed greater empathy toward people.
Ten-year-old children who had established strong bonds with their dog had significantly higher self-esteem, as well as greater empathy.
Children are our future and we have to take this time and opportunity to educate them in responsible pet ownership. We will make this area ‘just for kids’ to be educational, yet fun. Get them involved now…here’s how.
• They can gather needed items from our ‘Wish List’.
• Have classmates and friends raise ‘Pennies for Paws’.