Rhode Island SPCA

We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves

Humane Education Programs

 

For younger kids, this is a light-hearted look at what animals (both domestic and wild) do when it rains.

For younger kids, this is a light-hearted look at what animals (both domestic and wild) do when it rains. Accompanied by Daphne the bunny, we talk about gentleness, care, and cuddling.

Pet Care

For younger kids, this is a light-hearted look at what animals (both domestic and wild) do when it rains. Accompanied by Daphne the bunny, we talk about gentleness, care, and cuddling.

Caring for Cats

This program is an overview of cats, their origins, their special adaptations, their care needs, and a little bit of cat body language. Presentation is about 1/2 hour including questions, then followed by cat handouts and crafts, time permitting.

Chilling with Chinchillas

Students learn where chinchillas came from, their complex needs as pets, and how to care for them. Program is 1/2 hour including questions, followed by meeting our education chinchilla Bianca, time permitting. Bianca is best experienced in small groups and not in a classroom setting. Bianca is a personal pet belonging to our humane education director, and is not available for adoption.

Caring for Dogs

Students get to learn about dog history, dog physiological adaptations, their care, and how to interpret some basic dog body language and signals. This program runs about 40 minutes with questions, and can be followed with handouts and dog related crafts. The humane education director’s 6 pound Pomeranian, Foxy, can accompany this program. She is a shy and gentle dog who responds well to quieter groups.

Bite Prevention

A great introduction for kids to understand how dog bites happen so easily if we don’t pay attention to signals and body language from dogs who are trying to tell us that they feel unsure. Students will learn proper dog greeting behavior and what to do if they encounter strange dogs who might be aggressive. Students will role play techniques with a large stuffed dog. About 1/2 hour from start to finish.

Dogs 101

This program runs close to 3 hours and was originally designed to meet the boy scout dog care badge requirements. This is a thorough overview of dog origins, physiology, diseases, behavior, etc. There are periodic bathroom breaks. Water is provided. We offer this program at the RISPCA, and can follow with a tour of the facility.

Birds as Pets

Students will learn about the basic care of pet birds, health problems the birds can face, and the solutions, as well as an overview of the dozen or so more popular breeds of birds.

Fun of Ferrets

Although not accompanied by a live ferret, this program introduces kids to the quirks and care needs of ferrets. About 1/2 to 40 minutes including questions. Can be followed with ferret handouts and fun activities.

Guinea Pigs

This is a brief overview of guinea pigs and their care needs, which lasts about 20 minutes, and can then be followed with guinea pig handouts and fun crafts. Alas, no live guinea pig usually accompanies the program unless we have a good candidate who happens to be up for adoption.

Hedgehogs 101

Students will learn about this exotic pet, the unique characteristics of hedgehogs, and their care. They can meet O’Malley the hedgehog, who isn’t terribly social but will poke his head out for meal worms. The presentation is about 15 minutes, and can then be followed with handouts, crafts, and meeting the little guy himself.

Getting to Know Rabbits

This program can be tailored according to the age of the kids. From a simple slide show about different kinds of cute bunnies aimed for the pre-K crowd to a more complex presentation about the specific needs and health concerns of rabbits. For small children, the program is about five minutes of slides, followed by a storybook and a meet and greet with Daphne, the Angora rabbit, and for older kids, the program can include handouts, craft activities, and also meeting Daphne. Daphne is the humane education director’s pet, and is not available for adoption.


Rats!

A brief introduction to dwarf rats and their care needs, accompanied by pictures of utter cuteness. Appropriate for younger kids. While we can’t bring a live rat, we can bring a little stuffed one and a great storybook.

Sugar Gliders 101

This is a more complex program appropriate for older kids. The sugar glider is a complicated little creature with very special needs and care requirements. Figure on about 50 minutes total with questions, handouts, and activities.

Fighting Cruelty In Our Neighborhoods gives high school level students an overview of the kinds of cruelty we have here in Rhode Island, and an opportunity to discuss what it means from an ethical and social responsibility standpoint.

Fighting Cruelty In Our Neighborhoods gives high school level students an overview of the kinds of cruelty we have here in Rhode Island, and an opportunity to discuss what it means from an ethical and social responsibility standpoint.

pet overpopulation

Students will be exposed to some of the realities of this country’s huge pet overpopulation and homelessness crisis, and some things they can do to help. This is short enough to accompany another program, for example the ones on cat care or dog care. It can also be tailored to include more math standards, and be used as a springboard for figuring out how some of these numbers stack up.

Animals Reading Week

A fun romp through the many animal related kids’ books out there, accompanied by pictures of animals perusing books. This is perfect for Reading Week, and can be tailored to be more focused on reading aloud a funny and memorable animal book. This program is usually accompanied by Daphne the bunny.

Humane Issues in Food Production

Students learn about and discuss the differences between traditional farming practices, and modern factory farming practices, and the humane issues of animal treatment. A very brief presentation does include some pictures of factory farming, so this program is best suited for 4th grade and up.

A quick overview of the Rhode Island SPCA and the work that we do. This is usually followed by a tour of our shelter, where kids can see cats, dogs, and small animals. If done in school, it can be followed by another program on a specific animal, or as a standalone with craft activities and handouts.

Careers with Animals

Geared toward middle and high school students beginning to think about the many career goals involving working with or for the benefit of animals, this program highlights many careers and the opportunity to learn about required schooling or background. Often followed by the Mind Mapping program, a marvelous tool for working out decision-making or project processes. Lots of resources are provided for later exploration by students.

Famous Animals in History

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Students learn about a variety of animals in history who became famous because of their extraordinary abilities or the ways they helped humans. With older kids, discussion can follow about how our society has changed its attitude about animals’ places in our lives. 30 minutes.

 

Rainbow Bridge

This brief program is designed for people who are facing the passing of a beloved pet. What to expect in the process, and ways to cope. This is a suggested program for a library or community center. Including questions and discussion, plan on about one hour for this.

AAT

For people considering training and registering a pet for Animal Assisted Activities or Therapy, this program provides an overview of the process, the expectations in a hospital or other setting, and the many psychological and physiological benefits of animal and human companionship and interaction. This can also be tailored for nursing homes considering the addition of a facility pet, or the allowance of a visiting therapy animal.

Foster Kitten

Mandatory training for anyone considering fostering for the RISPCA, but also open to whoever would like to learn. We schedule this program in the late winter and early spring in time for kitten season, but this program can be offered anytime. Participants will learn about the foster process, the care of pregnant and nursing cats, medical issues that nursing queens may face, stages of kitten development, bottle-feeding, socializing, etc. Please allow 2 hours for this very thorough training.

Rehab Rescue Dog

We offer this program for anyone considering fostering a rescue dog for the RISPCA, but also for anyone who has a rescue dog at home that is exhibiting some of the typical behaviors that these dogs tend to have. Participants will learn some of the techniques suggested for dealing with such behaviors, as well as the concepts of clicker training. 2 hours.