Callie and Valor were the stars of our Humane Education Camp. Students learned about wild horse behavior and the importance of keeping wild animals in the wild and protecting their habitats.
Cathy Kotelchuck taught the students about hands-on energy healing. She gave massage and reiki treatments to mustangs Callie and Valor. The students then had the opportunity to practice therapeutic touch on Sal, the pony and Junior, the donkey. They also learned how to use a stethoscope to listen to heart rate and gut sounds.
Guest presenter Tess from the Department of Environmental Conservation (D.E.C.) taught about preserving wildlife native to New York. The students met the newest addition to the Ecology Site Finnegan, a 6 year old alpaca. There were up close and personal meeting with Emily, our favorite binturong. black bears Honey and Pooh, injured owls, a prairie dog and a opossum
Wednesday went to the dogs, literally. Dorothy, from the League for Animal Protection came with her rescued pit bull mix, Mary. Dennis, from Bobby and the Strays arrived with his rescued dog, Princess. They discussed the plight of shelter dogs, puppy mills, canine training and the importance choosing the right animal for your family. All agreed – ADOPT DON’T SHOP.
The young adults from our Life Skills Program spoke to the campers about their work at the Golden Paw Shelter where they socialize cats awaiting adoption and help feed and clean the felines.
The week concluded with a visit from Rocky and his person Leta Keller from the Guide Dog Foundation. Leta spoke eloquently about many types of sevice animals from dogs who can detect seizures to ponies who help the visually impaired.
Joan O’ Connell introduced the students to her new rescue puppy Scout. She talked about puppy mills and the joys and responsibilities of having companion animals. We greeted Wilbur the pig in this beautiful new home at the Ecology Site and celebrated Emiily the bintouong’s 17th birthday with a fruit salad and non- dairy ice cream!
Students were awarded a Kaeli Kramer Foundation Animal Amdassador Certificate which states that the graduates will encourage kindness, harmony, and trust between humans and animals as well as amongst humans. Our amazing students are well on their way to sharing their knowledge with peers, family and their community.
Many thanks to all who made this outstanding program possible: Town of Brookhaven Superintendent, Dan Losqudro, April Perry and her hardworking staff at the Holtsville Ecology Site, Kellei Burke for sharing her knowledge and commitment to animal welfare, Frank Cruz for his expertise and kind assistance, Board Member Donna Cabble, supporter Joan O’Connell and all of the wonderful presenters!