Friday, June 28, 2013

Camp at HAWS

Since HAWS accepts all different types of animals, we get many species that other shelters don't experience.  It makes it interesting to work here and interact with animals I would never have had an opportunity to work with otherwise. 

This means that the education department also has the opportunity to share our knowledge and interactions with many different types of animals with the participants of our programs.  Since we've just finished our third week of HAWS Kids 'N Critters Summer Camps, we've been able to do just that with the campers that are attending our programs. 

Domestic rats are a personal favorite of mine.  They get a bad rap because of the poor reputation their wild relations have, but they are actually wonderful pets.  Not only are they entertaining to watch as they move about their habitat, but they are extremely smart and social animals.  If they're used to being handled they are very snuggly, and can be taught to do tricks and come when called. 

A new species to me is the African Sidenecked Turtle.  I first learned about these guys when one was surrendered to HAWS a few months ago.  Native to Africa they can't pull their heads all the way into their shell, so turn their head sideways. 
Voodoo the snake isn't available for adoption, but rather an education snake on loan from a fellow employee.  The kids really enjoy Voodoo the corn snake.  While he's 4 feet long, he isn't very wide and easily handled, which is why corn snakes make such great pets.  Many of the kids are interacting with a snake for the first time when they meet Voodoo, and find out that not only is he not slimy, but he's actually pretty fun to handle. 

Don't get the wrong idea.  The campers get plenty of times with dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.  But coming to camp allows them to learn about other types of animals as well.  And we still have room in many of our up-coming sessions.  So if you know an animal loving kid who wants to have fun this summer give us a call!

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