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A School In NYC Spent A Day Teaching Kindness To Animals

Megan Hessenberger, NHES Humane Educator (far right) with teams from NY Therapy Animals

On May 8, NHES humane educators teamed up with New York Therapy Animals and PS32 in Brooklyn, NY, to help 500 elementary school students learn about living humanely with companion animals. “Most children have a natural affinity for animals. Humane education encourages that appreciation and equips children with the knowledge they will need to be good stewards of animals throughout their lives,” said Megan Flinn, NHES Humane Education Coordinator.

On May 8, NHES began the day with two morning presentations of Kindness In The Classroom, NHES’ free humane education outreach program. Students took part in discussions and activities about making responsible and safe choices regarding companion animals. Students examined the differences between purchasing vs. adopting a companion animal and the emotional lives of the animals they know. Students buzzed with excitement to meet therapy dog “Tommy,” and his human mom, Polly, who helped the students learn about the human-animal bond.

In the evening, students returned with their families to sample vegan cuisine and participate in activities that helped them understand canine body language, animal rescue, and how to play with cats gently. Three therapy dog teams were on hand to help students practice the safe way to meet a new dog. One lovely woman said to our educators, “I brought my great-grandchildren here tonight because they are terrified of dogs.” By the end of the night, each of her great-grandchildren had practiced safely meeting a new dog. They even baked dog cookies to give to their neighbor who owns two dogs.

NHES would like to thank Dr. Pratikshya Patil (PS32 PTA Facilitator), Melanie Carbone (PS32 Vice Principal), Denise Watson (PS32 Principal) and Nancy George-Michalson, Director of New York Therapy Animals, for making this incredible day a reality.

To learn more about NHES outreach programs, visit:

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