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First graders learn about pet care

First graders at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School got a briefing about the proper care of pets so they can prepare to devise the best possible donation to the local animal shelter.

Emily Bordelow’s class was recently awarded a $750 grant that will allow the students to bring their creativity to life and help the homeless animals of Pearl River County.

“The students here will brainstorm ideas for treats, toys, blankets and other ways to care for the animals at the SPCA Animal Shelter,” Bordelow said.

Maria Diamond and Jerry Billiot from the PRC SPCA visited the class to give the students the basics in caring for dogs and cats, accompanied by their friend, Lafayette the dog.

Diamond told the students pets need water, food, exercise, training, shelter and veterinary care.

“Dogs need baths,” Diamond said. “But I bet what you don’t know is cats have a deodorant in their saliva. That’s why they don’t need them as often and smell good.”

The SPCA members also described how to meet a dog for the first time. Those steps include asking for permission from the owner, letting the dog smell their hand, and then gently petting the dog.

Lafayette allowed himself to be a test subject on the proper introduction methods as students enthusiastically lined up to try them out.

Diamond also told the students they should stay still should a dog seem mean and run after them.

“You never run because dogs like to chase things,” she said. “Just stand there like a pole.”

All of the students were given the chance to share their pet stories with Diamond and Billiot at the end of the class.

Bordelow said the students will start their projects very soon, and a class trip to the local SPCA is also on their calendar as they learn more about the care of pets.