Wait, there were pigs and horses at HSSC?
On a sunny summer day, I turned the corner of the HSSC Adoption Center and came nose to nose with a frisky pony. As the weeks went by, the presence of a pony, INSIDE the Education & Training Center would soon feel normal. As would the presence of two giant Flemish rabbits, a tortoise named Leonardo, sheep, pot-bellied pigs, snakes, tarantulas, and more.
In other words, just another week in paradise hosting HSSC's annual Fur Fun Camp.
Led by our longtime director of Community Outreach & Engagement, Ginny Armington, every summer, children between the ages of 6 and 11 spend a week of their summer break learning about all species of animals. This year, over the course of six weeks, more than 100 kids came to HSSC to snuggle bunny rabbits, excavate "turtle" nests in our sensory garden, and watch caterpillars transform into butterflies.
If I am being perfectly honest, our staff could often be found sneaking into camp for a chance to feed April, the pot-bellied pig, or hear a story from Miss Autumn and the Wonder Weenies. We are, after all, just big kids at heart!
There's a larger purpose to humane education programs like our Fur Fun camp. Humane education fosters compassion, responsibility, and kindness—for animals and people alike. Fundamentally, the goal of humane education is to make our community a better place for all of us.
And in that spirit, we are honored to announce the Rilee Beisler Humane-i-tarian Award
which will annually recognize a child in our community that does amazing things for animals. We look forward to announcing our inaugural winner on September 18 and to sharing their story with you.