The main focus of our camps and workshops is to provide an environment for kids to develop their empathy, compassion and critical thinking skills. Children will learn about animal care and welfare and what they can do to help animals. We strive to give our campers and workshop participants an opportunity to interact with several animals each day. However, we are an animal shelter that cares for all animals including some that may be sick, injured, fearful and sometimes aggressive.
Our ability to have kids interact with animals relies entirely on the types of animals who are in residence during the time of our programs. Our top priorities are to provide our campers and workshop participants with a safe and fun experience and also to prevent our shelter animals from any undue stress. Some animals simply cannot handle the attention of numerous children at a time and we endeavor to teach the children to respect the needs of each individual animal. That being said, when a gentle bunny, kid-loving puppy, or playful bunch of kittens comes through the shelter, the children are definitely given the opportunity to interact with them. In addition, at select workshops and camps, they will interact with dogs belonging to staff members or guest speakers when available. All dogs chosen for interaction with kids have been temperament tested by BC SPCA animal welfare professionals. For safety reasons, workshop participants will not directly interact with dogs in the shelter.
On average, campers and workshop participants will usually spend half an hour to an hour per day with select shelter animals. However, we cannot guarantee hands on time with animals.