RVR Horse Rescue has doubled down on efforts to reach the most impressionable, compassionate, and eager-to-learn audience… children. What better way is there to promote learning than to feed a child’s natural curiosity with information?
The organization has always recognized the value of teaching children about animal care and encouraged children to ask questions, which they do inherently. RVR’s C.L.E.A.R (Care.Learn.Educate.Act.Rescue) educational initiative was launched in 2010 and program leader, Debbie McCoy, leads a team of impassioned volunteers into school programs and other educational venues.
To further extend their reach, the Rescue has recently expanded into two new areas of children’s outreach.
A New Home for Dominick
The first is the publication of their children’s book, A New Home for Dominick. The story is based on real-life horse and donkey, Charity and Dominick. The very basic introduction to animal advocacy is also a good old-fashioned story about love and friendship and trust. The book has already proven valuable for classroom settings, helping to extend RVR’s mission to the youngest animal advocates. Every purchase supports the care and rehabilitation of horses at RVR.
Children’s Outreach Pet Therapy Program
The second children’s outreach expansion is the development of a pet therapy program, to be used in schools and other facilities. The stars of the show will be the recently acquired mommy and baby miniature horses, Bonnie and Gilbert. The pint-sized duo was rescued when their prior owner was unable to care for their mounting medical needs. They were an immediate hit at RVR, with adults and children alike.
Bonnie and Gilbert’s personalities are beautifully suited for working with children, as was proven during a recent event, when they handled all the kisses, rubs, and pats from the littlest visitors like champions.
The goal is for both mother and son to become registered therapy animals, with the assistance of Jennifer Pfieffer, an experienced Pet Therapy specialist, whose therapy work included her own Great Dane and miniature horse, Gypsy. The formal program is set to launch in Fall 2016, with Gypsy in the lead, while Bonnie and Gilbert complete their training.
The additions of the children’s book and pet therapy program capitalize on children’s innate desire to learn and will drive the reach of RVR deeper into the community and beyond. RVR Horse Rescue was founded by animal advocate, Shawn Jayroe. Shawn and her army of volunteers have come to the aid of several hundred abused and neglected horses, by rescuing, then rehabilitating and rehoming as many as possible.
You can follow their life-saving work on Facebook at RVR Horse Rescue, or at RVRHorseRescue.org. Readers can also enjoy their adult novel, A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue, available at Amazon.com.