The fourth graders at Pinehurst Elementary School gathered in the auditorium for their celebratory Assembly at the end of the Pet Responsibility Program. Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) volunteer Barb Ross hosted the event. Although the classes were held at the very end of the school year, the students concentrated and were very good listeners, excellent learners and exceptionally polite; they were attentive and serious about their role as animal advocates. During Lesson 5, all the fourth graders received “You Are Pawsome” wrist bands to remind them that they are advocates for animals. At the Assembly, students were joined by four very special guests – the PRC mascot, Speuter, Lieutenant Robert Williams of the Southern Pines K9 Police and JAS Dog Training, Leigh Morgan and Jake, a service dog trained by Lt. Williams. Lt. Williams talked to the students, teachers and parents about the work of the Southern Pines Police Department K9 Unit. He also talked about his private dog training work. He trains dogs for people who have challenges. Leigh and Jake demonstrated what a well-trained dog can do. The partnership between a person and a dog helps the person live a fuller, happier life. Service dogs (and therapy dogs) are advocates for people! Lt. Williams talked about training dogs with positive reinforcement. Everyone appreciated the work Lt. Williams does in the SPPD and how his special dog training helps many people.
The fourth graders who wrote entries for the Speuter Story Contest proved their love for pets by speaking up for those who have no voice. Rowan, Wyatt, Kayla, Dahlia and Addison all wrote excellent stories and were recognized with Good Work! certificates of appreciation. Layla, Addy, Cina, Emma Rose, Taylor and Peyton were all announced as the Speuter winners for 2018 and were awarded framed certificates by the PRC Mascot, Speuter. They also received colorful paw print “dog” tags. Because of their efforts, two dogs, Beau Blue Bayou and Scarlet, and one cat, Kit-Kat, and three other pets will be spayed or neutered to help prevent pet over-population. Winners’ families attended the Assembly and were very impressed by how much the students knew about being responsible pet owners. Congratulations to all the Pinehurst fourth graders for being part of the team that makes life better for all pets!