If your kids are between the ages of 8-15 and looking for a way to help in the community, Greenville Animal Care has a fun way and will help both your child and the shelter dog! The Bucket Brigade Youth Volunteer Program gives kids the perfect opportunity to improve their reading skills while interacting with a furry audience, and we will tell you how to get involved.
Kidding Around’s Melanie and her son are excited to help out at Greenville Animal Care! If you are looking for a way the whole family can be involved, Greenville Animal Care’s Doggy Day Out is a great opportunity!
The Bucket Brigade Program At Greenville Animal Care
This new animal enrichment is a great way to get kids excited about reading! The interaction between the animals and the children is also a great way to prepare these shelter pets for going home with their fur-ever family.
If this program seems like something your child would be interested in, they will need to attend an orientation meeting in the education building to learn about the program.
- September 15th, 5 – 6 PM
- September 18th, 10 – 11 AM
This is a new program, and once it gets established, there will be future opportunities to sign-up if you can’t make it to one of the first orientation meetings.
Greenville Animal Care is also looking for adults to help the kids during Bucket Brigade times. If you are interested in being an adult volunteer, you can contact Greenville Animal Care’s Volunteer Coordinator.
What Will Children With The Bucket Brigade Do?
When animals wind up at Greenville Animal Care, they usually haven’t come from a situation with many human interactions or positive experiences with humans. In addition, the dog’s history makes them understandably less trusting and skittish in the shelter setting, making them harder to adopt.
Greenville Animal Care’s Bucket Brigade program seeks to remedy that with the help of local children and books. When a child joins this new program at the shelter, they will use their reading skills to earn the dogs’ trust in residence. This program is successfully implemented in other places, and Greenville is hoping to duplicate that success.
After going through orientation, filling out the paperwork, and paying the volunteer fee a child will have the option to sign up for volunteer time slots. Families will have access to an online portal that will track a volunteer’s hours. If your child has any interest in veterinary medicine down the road, they are required to accrue a certain amount of hours in a shelter setting before applying to college. The hours earned during this program can be applied to that, regardless of your child’s age.
Once the program is established and running smoothly, Greenville Animal Care hopes to add a class for volunteers to learn about dog behaviors, to help them better understand the pets they are helping.
Volunteer Program Details
After you attend one of the orientation meetings, you’ll have paperwork to fill out. Greenville Animal Care is a no-kill shelter, so every bit of funding supports the health and well-being of the animals in residence. For that reason, the shelter asks that volunteers cover the cost of the required items needed by a child to make this program possible. The $25 Volunteer Kit includes a Bucket Brigade t-shirt for your child to wear while volunteering, a name badge, and a bucket for them to decorate that will be used for storage and as a seat.
There are a few important things to note that will help you decide if this program is a good fit for your child:
- Greenville Animal Care often use peanut butter for pet enrichment. If your child has peanut allergies, they cannot guarantee that surfaces will be peanut butter free.
- This is a drop off volunteer program. Parents will be required to drop their child off at the educational building on time. If a volunteer arrives after the group has left to go to the kennels, they will not be able to participate that day
- Greenville Animal Care has a mask requirement in place for staff and volunteers, they ask that your child arrive with a mask from home.
- Children will be reading to the often large sized dogs through the kennel enclosure, and hands on interaction will not occur.
Check back soon for more updates about the program!