Humane Society program gets kids, animals together

NASHUA – Children as young as 6 can join a free summer program at the Humane Society for Greater Nashua starting this Thursday.

The HERO program is a series of activities and workshops designed to encourage youth appreciation of animals. It teaches children between the ages of 6 and 8 about how to care for animals through volunteer-led discussions, on-site visits, service projects, and crafts and games.

The program name represents the ideology behind its development, with HERO standing for "helpful, educated, respectful and outspoken."

"Basically, this is a fun way for HSGN to provide free education and outreach to the children and families in our community and provide resources for caring for the animals in our community," said Susanna Hargreaves of the human society’s board of trustees.

Although the program begins soon on Thursday, July 14, Hargreaves said there is still space for more children to get involved.

The sessions run for three consecutive weeks beginning July 14 from 9-11 a.m. The following HERO sessions will also be held from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, July 21, and Thursday, July 28.

Participants can join individual events or all three, but they must be accompanied by an adult and have no known pet allergies.

The program, launched this summer, was created to nurture kids’ appreciation of all living things, Hargreaves said.

"No matter how big or small, we all have a voice to help the animals in our community," she said.

The summer program will be taught by three volunteer educators and shelter volunteers.

"The shelter has the most amazingly kind, intelligent, and talented staff and volunteers who know so much about animals and animal care," Hargreaves said. "Children will tour the shelter and learn what the shelter provides, learn about animals and how to care for animals, create gifts for the animals by doing arts and crafts, and have fun"

The summer program also serves to kick off a youth program at the shelter called The HERO Club. Members of the HERO Club are welcome to join shelter activities such as "Reading to Rescues" every second Sunday of the month from 1-3 p.m. at the Humane Society.

HERO club members can also collect donations of pet food, dog and cat toys, blankets, and cleaning supplies for shelter animals, or donate a book for the Reading to Rescues program.

Space for the HERO Program is limited, and interested participants can sign up by contacting shelter staff at hero@hsfn.org, or 889-2275 x21. The Humane Society for Greater Nashua is located at 24 Ferry Road in Nashua.

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402, tforbes@nashuatelegraph. com or @Telegraph_TinaF.