Caring Paws is a humane education program located at our R.W. Brown North Philadelphia Club location. Caring Paws offers a small zoo with a variety of animals including rabbits, guinea pigs, and pet rats (4 rabbits, 6 guinea pigs, and 3 rats as of summer 2020).
School-age youth have weekly opportunities to visit this zoo in small groups, where they gain experience with the animals by holding, petting, grooming, and feeding them. Youth may also assist with cleaning and other tasks related to animal care. Through their participation in Caring Paws, youth learn about animals’ needs and responsible pet ownership, in addition to developing compassion for the animals. For many of the youth, spending time with the animals is therapeutic.
In the Early Learning Center, the Caring Paws Coordinator visits each classroom once a week with one animal and a book. Like the school-age youth, these children learn about the animals and their needs while petting, brushing, and feeding the animals. These younger children visit the zoo a few times a year.