No More Wild Pets
There are so many ways kids can help wild animals! Whether it’s adopting and caring for an appropriate pet, learning more about conserving species in the wild, making dens or enrichment for sanctuary cats, these are all so important.
We know the next generation faces a lot, trying to save so many endangered species. Exposing children to wild cats, and issues they face, will go a long way towards developing compassion.
This page features fun activities to help accomplish that. From educational videos featuring some of our wild cats, advice for choosing and caring for appropriate pets, and ways to incorporate learning activities for each grade level (PURR-fect for teacher’s curriculum plans). We hope you find this helpful.
Easy Ways Kids Can Help Wild Animals
Encourage everyone you know to adopt a pet from a local shelter. Sadly, nearly 4 MILLION pets die every year in shelters. So, it’s up to us to make sure more of our friends and family adopt appropriate pets, and do not buy wild animals. Never shop at pet stores or at breeders when you’re looking for a pet. Share the slogan “Adopt – don’t Shop!”
Be sure your pet is spayed or neutered so he/she doesn’t have babies. We have plenty of pets that already need homes, so don’t create more.
Always be sure your pet is micro-chipped and wearing an identification collar. If they should become lost, they don’t know how to explain where they came from. That’s up to you to do for them.
Never be shy about showing your kindness to animals. Be a role model to your friends by letting them know how important it is to you that all animals be treated well, whether they’re lizards, snakes, cats, dogs, bunnies, deer, birds, etc.
Don’t go to circuses, traveling exhibits in malls, or fairs that use wild animals. This is no way of life for a wild animal. Be sure to let everyone know why you won’t be going, either. If you speak up to your friends and adults around you, they’ll listen.
You may be tempted to have your picture taken with a baby wild animal or even pet a wild animal. Don’t do it! If you do, you encourage more and more of these baby animals to be born. Most have no place to go when they grow up.
If your school talks about bringing in a wild animal for display, for you to touch and play with, let them know this is wrong. If every school did this, it would mean more and more baby wild animals would be born. That’s why there are already so many homeless wild animals. Too many people have taken them around, using them when they’re small, for what they call education. It’s not education, though, so tell your school and teachers not to do this.
There are so many books and nature shows about wild animals. Learn as much as you can so you can be a voice for the animals. The animals are counting on you to speak for them.
Don’t ever wear anything that is made from fur or animal skins. With fleece and nice thick jackets, we don’t need to wear animal’s fur anymore to stay warm. If you are in a store where they’re selling fur, be sure to go up and speak to the employees there and tell them they shouldn’t do this. The way animals die when their fur is stripped from them is very cruel.
Every city or county has an animal abuse line. Be sure to keep it handy and call it if you ever see anyone mistreating an animal or if you see someone with a wild animal they’re trying to keep as a pet.
Use your computer to email your representatives in Congress to ask that they support laws to protect wild animals and not allow wild animals as pets. Visit our advocacy page for resources.
If someone takes you to the zoo, ask where the animals stay when the zoo closes for the night and if you can see it. If your zoo is celebrating some new baby wild animals there, ask them where do the older animals go to make room for them?
Always be sure to pick up litter, especially plastic bags, bottles, and wrappers. Wild animals don’t know this isn’t food and many of them will die if they eat the garbage we leave behind.
Try to eat as many meals as you can that include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. The less meat you eat, the more land is available for wild animals to live on. They need their wild habitat and you can help give it back to them.
Visit your local shelter or wildlife sanctuary to learn how you can help the animals by volunteering or holding fundraising events to help pay for their food and care.
Instead of presents for your next birthday, why not have a “wild” animal party and ask all your friends to bring along donations for your favorite wild animal sanctuary. We hope it’s The Wildcat Sanctuary!
Bake sales, car washes, walk-a-mile fundraising events all help when you donate the money you earn to a wildlife sanctuary. Sanctuaries struggle to raise money to house, feed, and care for homeless animals. You can be a huge help by coming up with fun ways to buy treats and necessary items for the animals.
Fun Wild Cat Learning Projects
No matter what age you are or what grade you’re in, there are so many ways you can volunteer for animals and make that part of your learning, too.
Below, you’ll find LOTS of different school projects you can do that will help promote the goals of our No More Wild Pets program and, many times, you can get school credit for these, too! Talk to your teachers and professors to see if they’ll include them in their lesson plans so many more students can participate and help.
ART PROJECTS – VISUAL OR INDUSTRIAL
Painting, sculpture, photography, film, woodworking, graphic design, etc.
- Paint the walls of the shelter, creating rooms with animals painted on the walls or an educational mural in a public area
- Build climbing toys for cats
- Create a video of shelter activities (e.g., a series of public service announcements for local TV spots or off-site presentations)
- Make posters advertising the organization and special events
- Create animal portraits or “paw print” art as a fundraiser
- Create a film or video on proper pet care that can be shown to shelter visitors or other students
- Build a magazine rack, shelving, cabinets, etc., for the shelter lobby or storage areas
- Design, form, and paint receptacles for use in public venues as collection “boxes” for donations (can be made of wood, plaster, ceramic, etc., but should all have a theme centered around animals, whether in the actual shape of the containers themselves or in the motif applied to them)
- Collect old and take new photographs of dogs and cats in different places, poses and situations. Place them in mats and frames along the walls in the shelter lobby and other public places. Whether dramatic, poignant, or cute, the photographs should make an impact, tell a story, or relate a specific message.
- Create drawings, take photographs, or select photographs for use in organization’s website and publications such as brochures and newsletters/fliers
- Submit original art for the organization’s fundraising calendar
- Build benches, bookshelves, and other furniture for a children’s reading area in a public area at facility
- Take before-and-after pictures of pets that have had major grooming make-overs and frame them for display in the entrance lobby
- Video record or create a slideshow of the shelter in a tour-style fashion to be played at off-site presentations
- Paint paw prints on the floor of the front lobby leading in the direction of the adoption areas
- Assist in creation of humane education props such as designing and cutting out felt story board characters
- Organize a coloring contest for younger children and help them with their projects
- Design promotional items such as bumper stickers and t-shirts to be used at adoption events
- Design and make leash holders or food bowl stands in metal or shop class to be auctioned or sold as a fundraiser
- Sculpt bowls, vases, jewelry, etc., to sell as a fundraiser
BUSINESS – MARKETING
- Create a plan and materials for a public awareness campaign concerning spay/neuter, licensing, fundraising, etc.
- Create a catchy slogan for the shelter to be put on t-shirts, magnets, or bumper stickers
- Brainstorm fundraising ideas to raise money for the shelter; plan community events; create activities and assist with marketing
- Assist with writing grants (teens can do research and can write outlines or even rough drafts of grants)
- Schedule meetings with various real estate agents, small business owners, veterinary clinics, and community service organizations to solicit sponsorships and partnerships
- Contact local radio stations to inquire about live remote shows during organization events
- Make bandanas that have shelter’s name, address, and phone for the adoptable pets to wear (dogs can be taken to walk-a-thons, the park, etc.)
- Set up a shelter information booth at county fairs and other community events to market organization
- Write public service announcements concerning topics that are important to the community
- Create an ad for the local newspaper or magazine promoting organization events
- Market and sell a book created by youth or the shelter, which educates about proper companion animals to adopt.
- Conduct a “movie theater” showing half-hour videos on humane education topics
- Distribute fliers in libraries, grocery stores, and privately owned businesses; pamphlets can either be generalized regarding responsible pet ownership or can relate to the shelter’s policies, programs, and/or needs
DRAMA – THEATER
- Form a theater group in which the students perform for other classes or give demonstrations at the shelter; the demonstrations can include proper pet care tips (These skits can be taped and used in schools or community organizations.)
- Develop and perform puppet shows centered around a theme pertaining to No More Wild Pets, humane education, responsible pet care, or the life of an animal in the shelter; book time at school assemblies, First Night celebrations, holiday pageants in the mall, kids camps, etc.
English, reading, literature, writing, speaking
- Develop and present humane education presentations for students their age and younger
- Read current events on animal and environmental issues and write to elected officials, newspapers, newsletters, etc., to express opinion
- Review books and create a list of humane books for various grades levels
- Write poems or short stories about animals, nature, wildlife, working in the animal shelter, etc.; collect the poems into an anthology to be placed in the library or shelter as an educational tool
- Form reading circles in organization’s conference room, local elementary schools, after school programs, youth groups, and church groups in which students read to younger children; conduct reading hour with a humane book at library or organization
- Write lyrics for jingles promoting the adoption of shelter animals on local radio stations; ask stations to play them as public service announcements
- Collaborate with the drama students and write script for humane themed plays; present these to the community or younger grades
- Write animal descriptions or individual “stories” to attach to cages for each pet available for adoption; write “happy ending” adoption stories for shelter website
- Write and present an educational speech to be given in conjunction with a spay/neuter campaign or other humane education topic
- Write and design educational booklets to be handed out in conjunction with shelter tours
- Facilitate an elementary school essay contest and act as a judge
- Research different animals and their habitats, in books and online; create a picture book highlighting the animals (These can be displayed in the lobby or sold.)
- Write a children’s book dealing with proper care of domestic animals or respect for wildlife. These can be given to schools, placed in the shelter lobby, or sold. (This could develop into a larger Business/Publishing project.)
HEALTH – PHYSICAL EDUCATION
- Develop a presentation, pamphlet, or video on health benefits associated with pet ownership, to be shared in the community or as a public service announcement
- Organize a community walking program such as “Walk Your Dog in the Park” day and log heart rates of both humans and companion animals
- Plan or participate in a pet walk to raise funds for the organization
- Create a pet agility class that provides activities for kids/pets
- Create, plan, and present public education seminars on animal health. Cover topics such as weight management, proper nutrition and special needs diets, heartworm prevention and treatment, grooming, the importance of vaccinations, etc.
- Create pet first aid kits or emergency evacuation kits to be distributed to the public
- Research and develop a diet program for older or diabetic pets at the shelter
- Organize a pet health fair at shelter, school, or community center
- Research and design a pamphlet or public service announcement comparing the care, time, and money required for babies and companion animals to promote an understanding of the responsibilities associated with owning an animal for life. Promote No More Wild Pets as the theme.
- Work with the animal shelter, local food bank, schools, and veterinarians to set up a program where donations of pet food and care products are raised to help families in need
- Sew cat toys and animal beds for homeless companion animals
- Research organizations, scholarships, funds and other avenues of financial aid available for spay/neuter; compile list for those in need of assistance
- Make pet food/treats for shelter animals; research any health benefits to homemade food/treats rather than store bought food/treats
- Socialize litters of kittens and puppies and keep a “socialization journal” to allow potential adopters to track progress and see what the animal has learned or how they have progressed
- Create various companion animal care fliers/posters that can be given to the public
- Create and maintain a feeding schedule for sheltered animals
- Hold fundraising dinner where students learn dish place settings, food preparation, budgeting, and the benefits of a vegetarian diet
- Measure amount of fencing, wall board, etc. that is needed to build animal housing for use by an animal sheltering organization or animal control officers
MATHEMATICS – STATISTICS
- Collect data and develop a presentation or public service announcement concerning pet overpopulation, the benefits of spay/neuter, and the Captive Wildlife Crisis
- Research and collect data for organization use (e.g., spay/neuter, the number of registered animals in the community, dog bites, stray dogs, number of pets in household, etc.)
- Research the cost of a license versus the fees when ticketed for compliance failure and the statistics of licensed pets who are returned to owners; create a flier to promote licensing of pets
- Develop statistical charts and graphs to illustrate numbers of animals brought in to the shelter, numbers adopted, average age and stay of animals, number of wild animal accredited sanctuaries, etc.; can be used by staff and for educational purposes
- Create an age appropriate feeding schedule for animals and measure appropriate amounts of food for each animal
- Learn about animal cruelty laws in your state; create a community flier showing the statistical connection between those who hurt animals and those who hurt
Choir, marching band, jazz band, orchestra
- Coordinate or perform in a musical concert or dance as a fundraiser
- Write music to accompany shelter radio jingles, videos, PowerPoint presentations, or public service announcements; facilitate the performance and recording of jingles
- Sing or play music at outreach events
- Write songs that teach children about proper pet care and appropriate pet choices for use in humane education lessons
- Create a classical music mix CD to be played in animal areas to help ease stress
- Work with school athletic boosters to dedicate a halftime show to the presentation of adoptable companion animals
- Create a music CD to be sold as fundraiser
Biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, ecology
- Research the wildlife at a sanctuary or waterway and create a lesson for younger students about the importance of protecting habitats and endangered species
- Create a habitat at the school, park, or shelter to attract wildlife, insects, or birds and learn the benefits of these species
- Research the ways in which people can cope with and conquer their allergies to pet dander; include medicines, homeopathics, air filtration systems, and foods; create a brochure to help allergy sufferers and for public information in order to encourage adoptions
- Learn about the needs of various wildlife species and develop plans to enhance environments at local wildlife center or rehabilitation center
- Research eco-systems and companion animal friendly plants; landscape the shelter after learning appropriate plants for climate, size, area, foot traffic, etc.
- Hold a park clean up to benefit wildlife; research indigenous animals and plants
- Research animal and eco-friendly products and create a directory of products for shelter and public use
- Research indigenous animals and hold a walk through a park with guides telling about the animals (funds raised benefit wildlife organizations)
History, government, geography, psychology, sociology
- Write to state legislators to express opinions on bills concerning humane issues and to encourage an end to breeding wild animals
- Study state legislature voting records on humane topics and prepare leaflets so the community knows where a candidate stands on issues based on past votes
- Study the origin and importance of animal related laws, such as leash laws, licensing laws, captive wildlife, etc., and create a public service announcement
- Study local, state, and federal laws and other nations’ legislation concerning humane and anti-cruelty laws, wild animals in circuses and traveling exhibitions, ownership of captive exotics. Present findings to other high school students
- Research the history of the shelter or sanctuary and create a timeline to be placed in the lobby and/or create a history scrap book to be placed at events
- Research animal advocates of the past (such as George Angell, Mahatma Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Paine, or Abraham Lincoln) and create a book of quotes to be placed in shelter lobby or at educational events
- Study the connection between abuse of animals and interpersonal violence (use historical documents and court cases); write letters to the editor concerning the connection or create a public service announcement
- Research and write about how animal treatment in the U.S. differs from other countries and create a display for local schools or the public library
TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION – COMPUTER
- Assist with web publishing for organization; help create a teens or kids page
- Upload photos, videos, and descriptions of adoptable pets to websites such as petfinder.com and pets911.com
- Create a Facebook, MySpace, and/or other online social networking pages for the shelter
- Help update databases for the sanctuary or shelter
- Create and produce public service announcements concerning No More Wild Pets program. Share these widely on social media
- Create an online book for young people and post on organization’s website
- Create PowerPoint presentations or slide shows to be used by the shelter or sanctuary in public education
WORLD LANGUAGES – ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
- Translate sanctuary or shelter literature, videos, humane education materials, etc., into other languages to make the literature more accessible to those for whom English is not their first language
- Design fliers and posters to post in neighborhood schools and community center where Spanish (or other language) is the primary language
- Research animal protection issues and organizations in different countries and explore the need for translators in those areas
- Create a public awareness campaign for the local shelter written in another language or using pictures for non-readers
- Participate in mobile spay/neuter clinic as a translator
- Present seminars on humane education (e.g., spay/neuter) to non-English speakers
A special thank you goes out to all of the humane educators who contributed to this list. If you do any of these projects, or if you have an idea for a service learning project that’s not listed here, please let us know at www.wildcatsanctuary.org!
Besides everything listed above, there’s also a wealth of excellent lesson plans, for all ages and grade levels, that teach humane, compassionate behavior toward animals. Be sure to look them over at : http://www.humanesociety.org/parents_educators/lesson_plans_for_teachers.html
One of our favorite lesson plans is called “Wild or Tame?” It can be found at: www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/parents_educators/wild_or_tame.pdf
You’ll also find Humane Worksheets for teachers by visiting this helpful link: http://www.humanesociety.org/parents_educators/classroom/printable_worksheets.html
Now that you’ve taken the pledge for No More Wild Pets, you’ve helped make sure fewer and fewer animals will suffer or become homeless.
Enjoy your time with your appropriate pet and make sure you help spread the word so many more animals find a happy ending – just like yours did!