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Community Pet Center Launches Education in the Classroom Pet Program

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Joan King, President of the CPC Board of Directors, brought Snoopy, who is a certified therapy dog. Snoopy's job is to make people feel good when he visits libraries, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. Joan explained the proper way to approach and pe

Volunteer based, and funded through private donations and grants, CPC kicked off it's educational pet program with a visit to Cliffside Elementary School in October. "Our mission is to safeguard and promote the rescue and adoption of animals, provide education to the community about responsible pet ownership and reduce the pet overpopulation through our Spay and Neuter Program." said Lynne Faltraco, Executive Director. "Children can be wonderful advocates for responsible pet ownership. Their enthusiasm and respect for pets is infectious and engages others. We hope that as we visit the schools each student will take a piece from our presentations and go out into their neighborhoods and be the voices for these animals who rely on all of us."

Faltraco continues, "We are in the process of setting up visitation schedules with schools focusing primarily on primary and third grades. We have visited Cliffside Elementary and Spindale Elementary. We will be contacting the other local schools over the next several months and will also be starting our first 'Read with Me' program at Spindale Elementary. Certified cats and dogs, referred to as, 'Tail Waggin' Tutors' (a sub-program of Therapy Dogs International) go to school and listen as students read to them. Snoopy, Joan and James King's dog, will be our 'reading professional'. Our visits, so far, have been wonderful. The administrators, teachers and students have been very receptive to our visits and presentations. The students have been so respectful, polite and appreciative. They have asked amazing and insightful questions and told us stories about their personal pets.

Critical to CPC's continued success, Faltraco explains, "We rely on individuals, businesses, veterinarians and community support, and are very appreciative of the local schools, administrators and teachers as we continue to promote responsible pet ownership and cultivate opportunities for community involvement to help benefit the animals and families in Rutherford County. We also work with all of the schools in Rutherford County and are available for students to do community service for various presentations and projects. Anyone interested in volunteering can go to our website and download our Volunteer Application and stop by and discuss various volunteer options or pick up an application at our office located at 861 Piney Ridge Road in Forest City, Monday and Friday, from 12noon-4pm. Our office volunteers can talk with volunteers about various needs, duties and upcoming events."

"We've partnered with the elementary, middle and high schools as well as REaCH, the ROC, Thomas Jefferson Classical Grammar and Academy, private institutions and ICC. Students can volunteer at our office and various events or work on community service and Senior, Beta Club, and the New Century Scholars projects. Presentations are made at county libraries, Hospice, the Senior Center, schools and after-school programs. The CPC also partners with PATH, Hospice and nursing homes to help find temporary foster homes for pets," continued Faltraco. "We hope that our Pet Education Program will help encourage more Rutherford County residents to spay and neuter their pets thus reducing the number of unwanted litters; to vaccinate for diseases such as rabies (which is NC law) and to feed, water, shelter, exercise and love their pets. Owning a pet is a life-time responsibility and commitment, and adopting or rescuing a pet should always be taken seriously and not done on a whim or frivolously."

For more information on how you can become involved, call 828-287-7738, visit 'Community Pet Center' on facebook, or go to our website at www.communitypetcenter.com.

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