Animal Allies Educating Northland Youth

For Over 25 Years, Animal Allies Has Been Making Way Into Northland Classrooms

DULUTH, Minn. – Some say seeing is believing.

Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth is looking to educate Northland youth by making way into classrooms, to teach hands-on.

Twenty-five years later, these visits still have a lasting effect on local students.

“I had twelve dollars and the ropes we bought, I think were .95 cents,” said Isabella, 2nd grade student at Piedmont Elementary.

Collecting your own coins, can be rewarding from time-to-time, with dollars and cents helping buy big dreams.

“I told my Mom, Animal Allies is coming to school, and I said, could we go get some dog toys? She said yes,” said Isabella.

A proud mother, saying yes to teach the responsibility of pets to her daughter.

“When I move out to the country I’m getting a snow dog,” said Isabella.

“It’s really fun for us and for our animals to get to meet new people; it’s really good socializing for them,” said Dr. Shawna Weaver, Humane Educator at Animal Allies.

For Shawna, her two loves Lucy and Isie, it’s another day on the job with each visit to the classroom.
“This is their job, to come to schools, every day, and talk about animal safety,” said Weaver.

With an audience of well-behaved criss-cross apple saucers, the dynamic doggie dup is teaming up to teach life lessons.

Weaver says, “We get asked all the time, is this dog nice, is this dog going to bite me?”

Common concerns, easily eased with each scratch, pet, and treat handed out.

“Usually by the end of the class time, kids are a lot less nervous,” said Weaver.

“They’re really cute and you can pet them,” said Isiah, 2nd grade student at Piedmont Elementary.

Animal Allies was founded back in the 1950s, ironically by a Duluth School teacher. Miriam Carlstedt took responsibility for caring and finding homes for a litter of kittens she discovered on her doorstep.

“If the school or classroom doesn’t have a budget for us to come in, we come in anyway,” said Weaver.

Teachers and students now collaborate, collecting treats and money to donate to the shelter.

For the Panthers of Piedmont Elementary, cats, dogs, and other furry friends now have a much stronger appreciation after a recent educational visit.

“I learned that it’s good to take care of dogs,” said Isiah. “They kiss and I like that, they love up on you and I like that too!”

Lifelong love, taught with just one hour-long lesson.

“When we get home, Lucy just honks out for the rest of the night, which is great for me,” said Weaver.

Staff at Animal Allies says they never want funds to be an issue. They would like to thank the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, and Irving Community Club Grant for helping provide this opportunity to local students.

If you would like to learn more information, and sign your class up for an Animal Allies Educational Experience, click here.

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