A place for animal lovers

Published 10:44 pm Friday, September 6, 2013

A new program by the Suffolk Humane Society strives to help children learn to be compassionate about animals. For many people, such an endeavor might seem akin to preaching to the choir, as most children seem to have an innate sense of love for animals.

But it’s not hard to find evidence that not all children treat animals with kindness and respect. In fact, children who are unkind to animals often become adults who abuse them. At the very least, they are likely to become adults without an interest in providing care for hurt or otherwise helpless animals. But even kids who love animals can stand to learn a thing or two about how to care for them.

Officials at Suffolk Humane, which is partnering with Nansemond-Suffolk Academy for the pilot program this year, hope that involvement in the Animal Lovers Club will help its members spread the word about how to help animals that are in trouble and how to care for those that depend on humans for their survival.

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Wednesday’s first meeting of the club featured a visit by two representatives of the wildlife rescue group Sacred Friends Inc. They brought along a red-tailed hawk to help make their point about what one should do if he encounters an injured animal in the wild.

That’s the kind of information even the staunchest lover of animals can use, and it resonated with the children attending this week’s inaugural meeting of the Animal Lovers Club, which concluded with participants making posters on ways to improve the local environment for the welfare of its animal inhabitants.

“We are thrilled to promote Suffolk Humane’s mission through this group of caring youngsters, and we hope that we can extend this program to other schools,” said Ginger Owen, Suffolk Humane board member and Humane Education Committee member.

That’s a great plan and a worthy effort by the Humane Society.