On November 15th, 2019, the fourth graders at High Falls Elementary School gathered for the final session of their Pet Responsibility Program. Doris and Bill Russell and their therapy dog, Max, quizzed the students on a number of pet responsibility topics covered during the program and were so impressed by all the students had learned and taken to heart.
Animal Services Corporal, David Myrick, joined the students for the Assembly and talked with them about his role in protecting the pets of Moore County. He reminded the students that they should always tell an adult if they see an animal abused or neglected, especially during this cold weather. Then, either the adult or the student should call Animal Services to get help for the animal. Corporal Myrick was impressed by the students’ answers about the importance of spaying and neutering dogs and cats to control pet overpopulation.
Speuter, the Pet Responsibility mascot, read a poem about her life from being abandoned to being adopted into a wonderful home and asked the student to do their part in saving pets.
The students’ first act of advocacy during the program was to design artwork on bags to be used for dispensing information and medication for pets discharged from the Spay and Neuter Veterinary Clinic of the Sandhills. Two of the students, Andrew and Hollie, were recognized for exceptional messages representing the basic concepts of pet responsibility.
The fourth graders who wrote entries for the Speuter Story Contest proved their concern about the problem of overpopulation by speaking up for those who have no voice. Taylor, Isabel, Ethan, Collin, Ricky and Hollie were announced as the winners of the Contest and were awarded framed certificates by the PRC Mascot, Speuter, as their proud families looked on. Isabel gave her voucher for a free neuter to a pet in need through The Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC), to be used in the north of the county. Through the other winners, Tucker, Max, Cooper,Bell and Hunix will be spayed or neutered, preventing unwanted litters being born.
PRC volunteer Tammy Foster talked with the students about fostering Snowball and her twelve puppies. The students followed Snowball’s story throughout the program. Tammy shared that it took up to two years to place all 13 dogs!
The students recited the PRC Promise and signed it ater the Assembly to pledge their commitment to always look after the pets that share their world.
Dr. Tim Boyte of Carthage Animal Hospital shared information about his decision to become a veterinarian, his training and the activities of a day at a veterinary hospital. Dr. Boyte demonstrated how he examines dogs. Max, with Bill holding him, was the “patient”. Dr Boyte stressed that the students can play a major role in making sure their pets remain healthy as they spend a lot of time with them and can recognize if something is not quite right.
Assistant County Manager, Janet Parris, was a very welcome guest to the Assembly. She is a big supporter of the program and the messages of responsibility, respect and accountability that it brings to the students. Funding for the entire program falls under Ms Parris. She was very proud of all the students had learned and appropriately brought KitKats for the class to share.
Congratulations to all the Highfalls fourth graders for being part of the team that makes life better for all pets!