Pet Start: Teaching Care and Compassion at an Early Age

Kids Meeting Guido the Cat in the ClassroomPet Start was originally created and launched by the Humane Society for SW Washington in partnership with Clark County Head Start. This program was designed to reach the very young with a message of care and compassion for all living things and to teach basic tools for animal safety to these students.

There are three sessions called Case of Care, Tail Talk, and Meet a Dog. Each session has a group interaction, reminders about past sessions and the mission of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, reading time from an age appropriate and topic relevant book, and time for questions and answers. The second and third sessions bring animal ambassadors into the classroom for the students to meet. Session may be shorter or longer - from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on classroom needs and the students’ ability to focus.
Head Start classrooms: Vista Verde, Beach Street, Martinelli, Terry Jimenez Children’s Center, Natural Bridges, Starlight State Preschool, Via Del Mar, Rolling Hills, The Farm
Private Preschools: Aptos Christian Children’s Center, Tara Redwoods, Pajaro Valley Children’s Center, Garden Hollow Preschool, Midtown Montessori

Student Participation: 475 students in its first quarter

Pet Start in the Classroom