Saint John Paul II Catholic School is such a warm, inviting and loving school. The students are smart, attentive and kind. It’s alway a privilege to bring our Pet Responsibility Program to the 4th graders at SJP because we know they already take good care of their pets. That’s why our message with these students focuses on them being Animal Advocates. We can count on these 4th graders to go out and spread our message of pet responsibility. Many of them will one day volunteer in animal shelters, advocate for pets of their own or a pet in need, some will even go on to choose a carrier with animals. These are the students who will grow up and make a difference in a pet’s life!We had a fun, upbeat team of Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) members at SJP! Bill Russell taught Ms. Felicetta’s class with his smart and sweet therapy dog, Fleece. He was assisted by Kathy Rathburn. Christie Hartlove taught Ms. Miller’s class. She enjoyed the company of Sarah Johnson, assisting with her newly certified therapy dog, Dama. We were so proud of the fourth graders who learned the importance of remaining calm while a therapy dog was visiting. This allowed Dama to have a relaxed, fun experience for her very first time as a therapy dog. We ended our program with a celebratory assembly. The classroom was packed with students, teachers, parents, PRC volunteers, therapy dog Fleece, our PRC mascot, Speuter (Mary Smith), our photographer, Mary Ann Root and TWO veterinarians! The students and adults enjoyed hearing from both Dr. Tim Boyte, a longtime, respected veterinarian from Carthage Animal Hospital and also Dr. Barney from Longleaf Animal Hospital, along with her practice manager, Steve. As a service project, the 4th grade students chose to hold a school wide drive to collect blankets and towels to donate to Longleaf Animal Hospital. This would provide clean, warm blankets for the hospital to use on their pet patients. Dr. Barney and Steve gladly received these gifts on behalf of the animal hospital. To show their gratitude, they presented the 4th grade students at SJP with a certificate for them to proudly display in the school. This would serve as a visual reminder that they are indeed animal advocates! Dr. Boyte gave a beautiful presentation on the importance of taking care of pets/animals. In addition to discussing the positive impact of spaying and neutering pets, proper health care and exercise, his main focus was to share with the students the significance of showing their pets love. He reminded the students and all of us that animals are God’s gift and it’s up to us to give them the love, care and attention they deserve. Dr. Boyte enjoyed demonstrating a typical vet check- up with Fleece. She was an excellent “demo dog”. Dr. Boyte even added some humor to his presentation with a blood draw from his daughter’s stuffed bear named Bill. All of us gasped, then laughed as he “drew blood” using a real syringe from the stuffed animal. Dr. Boyte gave a great presentation!
We had two Speuter Story Contest winners:Ainsley A. from Ms. Felicetta’s class. She donated the spay/neuter voucher to a friend’s dog, Brodie. Our second winner was Camilla P. from Ms. Miller’s class. She did not have a pet and chose to donate her voucher to a Speuter Story Contest winner at the next school. Star Artist Award winners were Raegan N., Cayden C., Annabelle M.l and Fulton K. ALL the clinic bags at SJP were outstanding! It was hard to choose just 2 from each class. There is a lot of talent and passion at SJP! We are grateful to SJP for allowing us to bring this amazing pet program to their 4th grade students each year. We have a lot of fun, but the message we teach is received loud and clear by the kids. Go SJP animal advocates!