years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Grant from Citi helps tail-wagging professors reach over 1,900 children
We started the 2007-08 school year with the goal of seeing at least 1,400 children benefit from our unique Professor Paws programme, but thanks to the fantastic financial support of Citi Group, more than 1,900 local Hong Kong primary students graduated as Pet Cadets this year! This means that 500 more students were able to improve their English-language and literacy skills through up-close and personal interaction - many for the first time - with our dog “Professors”, while learning the very important lesson that companion animals have feelings and needs just like people do.
Our very special Professor Paws registered therapy dogs taught over 40 Year 4 classes (ages 8-9 years) at 23 government schools around Hong Kong. Together with native English speaking volunteers and our Animals Asia Professor Paws team, students take part in four one-hour lessons conducted in English. Each class is divided into small groups of “Pet Cadets” and are paired up with a “Professor”. For dogs such as Donna and Lucky this job involves some tough tasks – getting endless amounts of treats from the adoring students, being walked around the classroom in front of their admirers, being brushed, groomed and hugged repeatedly - not to mention some serious tummy tickling!
The Pet Cadets delight in learning how to meet and approach the dogs safely and how to take care of pets; understanding similarities between dogs and people; and most importantly learning compassion for all animals. Each Pet Cadet learns “The Pet Cadet Song” and when it comes to the last lesson, this is sung - with much enthusiasm and at great volume – by our graduating students, proudly wearing their very own Professor Paws - Pet Cadet uniform of T-shirt and cap.
The new graduates take with them delightful and happy memories of their lessons, often finding it hard to say goodbye to their tail-wagging professor and begging them to come back next year! And they are not the only ones - teachers continue to react enthusiastically to the programme and are also anxious to know how soon we can return!
Thanks to Citi Group who provide the funding for this wonderful programme, as well as the fab Professor Paws T-shirts, caps, badges and wristbands, we have a full schedule planned for the 2008-09 school year and look forward to seeing the proud and happy faces of many more Pet Cadet graduates.