Potter League has plenty for kids

DEAR BOOTSIE: My daughter is a real animal lover. If she had her way, we’d have a house full of every kind of pet. She also says she would like to be a veterinarian when she grows up. We’d love to foster her interest, but we are unable to volunteer at the shelter at this time. What other opportunities are available for youngsters who would like to help animals at the Potter League?
Crazy for Critters
DEAR CRAZY FOR CRITTERS: The Potter League offers many opportunities for kids to come in to learn about and help our animals, while having tons of fun at the same time. From camps to classes to birthday parties, your daughter is sure to find something that fits her interests. Let me highlight a few of my favorite upcoming programs for our young friends.
One event that seems perfect for your daughter is our Adoption Task Force Staycation Camp. At this year’s camp, April 16-19, she can join the adoption task force and help our Potter Pets find their forever homes. Campers will learn about what an animal shelter does to help animals and meet some of the pets waiting for homes here. They will also create projects to keep shelter pets happy and healthy and brainstorm ways to match them up with their purr-fect new home. Each day will involve animal-themed games, activities, crafts, guest speakers and time with animal friends.
Second- and third-graders attend from 9 a.m.-noon, followed by fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The fee is $60 for the week.
If your daughter has an artistic streak, she might be interested in displaying her love for animals by entering the Potter League’s sixth annual Be Kind to Animals Week Poster Contest. The competition is open to children in second through 12th grades. The themes for all grades will be “Pets are Family” or “Keep Coyotes Wild.”
The deadline for entries is Friday, April 12. Prizes will be awarded to students at an event at the Education Center of the Potter League for Animals on Wednesday, May 8, during Be Kind to Animals Week (May 5-11). Winners will be notified in advance. For more information and to download entry rules, visit the poster contest page on our website.
If you’re busy during the school year, it’s definitely not too early to plan for summer. Camp Happy Tails Summer 2013 sessions are enrolling and the registrations are already coming in. Full- and half-day sessions are available for second- and third graders and for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. The full-day programs are run in conjunction with the Newport County YMCA. The campers will spend half of the day at the Potter League getting their animal fix and the other half of the day at the YMCA for fun in the sun.
We are also very excited to announce four all-new themes for each age group.
For second- and third-graders, there will be two full-day themes: “Animals of Aquidneck,” where campers will learn about the pets, farm animals and wild animals that live right here in Rhode Island; and “Get Set for a Pet,” during which campers will find out if they have what it takes to own a pet.
The two half-day themes for this age group will be “Common Senses,” a science-based session, where campers will explore the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, and discover how animals experience the world differently from humans; and “Paws, Claws, Whiskers & Wings,” in which campers will investigate the things that make pets unique and interesting. Meeow!
Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders also can expect some exciting activities. The first full-day theme will be “The Road to Adoption,” in which campers will explore the intake-to-adoption procedure at the Potter League. They will investigate the animals’ path through the shelter, and find out how homeless animals become wonderful family members. The second full-day theme will be “Friends for Life,” when they will celebrate the wonderful relationship between people and animals and learn how to be a good friend to dogs, cats and other pets.
Half-day themes will include “Careers with Critters” — a definite interest of your daughter’s! — and “Breeds & Needs,” where campers will find out how different breeds of animals were created and what their unique traits mean for the responsible pet owner.
I just love the energy and excitement that the kids bring to the Potter League, and I hope one of those programs might catch your daughter’s interest. To find out more about any of these programs or to sign up your child, contact Anastacia Southland at 846-0592, Ext.120, or by email at .
Love, Bootsie
P.S. For Potter Pet University on Wednesday, veterinarian Toni Ellis presents “Low-Stress Veterinary Care for Your Cat.” Does your cat’s annual checkup fill you with dread? Does your feline have a “Caution” label on his medical file? Learn how to make your cat’s veterinary visits less stressful. This is a free seminar for humans only. Pre-register with Anastacia at 846-0592, Ext. 120, or contact her at .
P.P.S. On Saturday, March 23, at 3 p.m., dog- and child-friendly dogs are invited to test their super sniffers at our annual Doggy Biscuit Hunt. Pre-registration is not required. For questions or additional information, please call 846-8276, Ext. 122.
Mail questions to Bootsie Potter, P.O. Box 412, Newport, RI 02840, or send email to . The Potter League for Animals is located at 87 Oliphant Lane in Middletown. For more information, log on to
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