The sounds of tiny yips and children’s laughter could be heard from Elmcrest’s employment building last April and May. Several boys and girls volunteered to help a mother rescue dog raise five new puppies. The animals came from Helping Hounds Dog Rescue through arrangements made by Elmcrest’s Director of Residential Education and Employment, Shereen Webb. She put out a call to the students on campus and 30 volunteers responded.
This “puppy project” offered many opportunities for the children to learn new skills and value lessons. They acquired responsibility by learning how to care for the puppies, spending time with them, walking the mother dog, cleaning up after them. They learned how to socialize and work in small groups to care for the pups and how to be better dog owners. Focusing their attention on these lively puppies also proved to be an observable stress reliever.
The children were proud of their role in helping to raise this litter and added new skills to their resumes. At eight weeks, the puppies and mom were returned to Helping Hounds to be placed for adoption. They all were adopted within a few hours of arrival and are in new homes. The “Puppy Project” was a win for all!