Detroit, like many urban cities, faces significant issues with stray dogs. Problems such as dogfighting and overpopulation that leads to crowded shelters arise as a result of a lack of knowledge about good pet care. To help mend the issue, the city of Detroit has implemented a dog education program that will benefit both pups and the community as a whole.
The Good Pet Guardian lesson plans were created by fourth grade teachers to educate children about good pet care knowledge. The lessons, also known as “The Bones,” use stray dogs as the backstory for learning about math, history, economics and creative writing. They help children learn about the problems the city encounters with dogs and ways to prevent these issues in the future. The idea is that the more the community knows about good pet care the less likely it will be for dogs to be mistreated. Children are also more likely to help in the future once they are educated about stray dogs and build a connection to them.
Tasks and assignments will range from writing an essay from the perspective of a stray dog to learning what do if they come across one. “The Bones” also includes the following lesson plans: History and Evolution of the Dog, Human and Canine Companionship, How the Economy Works In Relation to Stray Dogs, How Community Issues Affect People and Create Stray Dogs, Problems Afflicting Stray Dogs in A Large City, and Neighborhood Stray Dog Survey.
So far the program has already started to help integrate dogs into the community in a positive way. Students have shared their excitement with teachers about volunteering at the Humane Society when old enough as well as dreams of one day adopting their own dogs.
When asked about stray dogs, one young girl said, “I think that we created a dog that needs care from their companions from humans and people and when we don’t give them that then it’s like we made an accident and now they’re here and they deserve a home. It’s not complicated.”
One of the strays brought to Dixon Elementary School was a dog named Maria. Maria was terribly mistreated but fortunately rescued. She doesn’t let her disabilities stop her from running around like the happy tail-wagging dog she was born to be.
Check out the video below to learn more and the American Strays website to apply for a free, pet guardian less plan. Lesson plans are available in the following cities: San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, San Diego, Tucson, Phoenix, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Baltimore, Seattle, and Detroit.
Feature image via Living Social