Girl Scouts learn animal safety, caretaking at local shelter


Troop chaperone Dori Glenn helps Girl Scout brownie Lily Fries feed mints to a horse during a trip to the No Time To Spare animal shelter in Pendleton on March 27. The Girl Scouts came from St. Charles County for an educational visit. Adam Rollins photo.
By: 
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

A group of Girl Scout brownies last Saturday got an up-close look at farm animals and shelter dogs while getting some basic lessons about animal care and safety in Warren County.

The second graders traveled all the way from Castlio Elementary School in St. Charles for a visit to No Time To Spare Animal Rescue in Pendleton on March 27. Troop leader Christine Clay said she learned about the shelter through a friend who volunteers there, and thought reaching out would give the girls a way to help earn badges related to pet care.

“They made fleece pet beds and tied them together, and they’re hoping the dogs get some good use out of those,” Clay said. “Originally I contacted here just to say we have dog beds we’d like to donate ... but then they invited us out.”

It was an exciting trip for the 10 girls who got to visit the shelter along with their chaperones. They learned how to brush and feed horses, how to introduce themselves and read body language with unfamiliar dogs, and how to give a dog a bath. Clay said the girls were so enthusiastic about their visit that they used their Girl Scout Cookie money to buy toys and treats to bring with them for the dogs.

“They were really happy to see the cows and the pigs and the horses. They were so excited. This is our first in-person activity (as brownies) because of COVID,” Clay said. “I’m hoping they see that all animals might not have a home, and learn about places like this where people give their time to take care of all the different animals and find a good home. And also just how to take care of different animals.”

Second grader Sara Franke said she had a lot of fun on the visit. She picked up some tips about understanding canine friends from a professional dog trainer who visited for the day.

“If their ears are back and everything, they’re calm, and if their tail is wagging, they’re not necessarily happy, it means  they’re excited and stuff,” Sara explained. “I liked washing the dogs. They were really cute and jumpy.”

Cindy Ballard, who helped organize the event for the animal shelter, said she and the other volunteers enjoyed the chance to interact with a community group and share what they do at the shelter. They wouldn’t mind hosting those types of events more often, Ballard said.

“We have had excellent interactions with them, because we have an awesome group of volunteers here who are willing to come out and work with them and the animals,” Ballard said. “We want them to learn about the animals. A lot of these girls have never been around a horse or a pig or a cow, and I think it’s important that we have them when they’re young, so that they learn safety. Especially with dogs ... they need to learn safety and what to do when it’s not their dog.”

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