The Official Houston SPCA Humane Education Blog

Teaching us about our animal friends

Houston SPCA Critter Camp 2014 Comes to a Close

As the last week of Critter Camp comes to an end, let’s take a look at two of our brand new sessions we introduced this summer to teach our campers even more about animals!

For campers interested in how the Houston SPCA rescues animals on a daily basis, ‘Operation Rescue’ was the perfect camp session to pick! Each day of Operation Rescue had its own theme including: oil spill awareness, pet first aid, animals that rescue people, natural disaster preparedness and animal cruelty prevention. Campers were able to take home knowledge that they could use on a regular basis to keep their pets safe and their community aware of various events that could affect animals.

While learning about how wild animals are affected by oil spills, our campers were introduced to the chemical properties that oils have including being less dense than water. The campers used this knowledge to create fun artwork. After dropping small amounts of thinned oil paint into a tin of water, the campers could ‘float’ a piece of paper on top of the water to create a marbleized pattern!

Oil Spill ArtTo learn about pet first aid and the importance of knowing when to take your furry family member to the veterinarian, the Houston SPCA Critter Camp team welcomed a pet first aid expert who taught our campers basic pet first aid skills that they could share with their family and friends.

Campers with First Aid

All of our critter campers are dedicated to helping stop animal cruelty and neglect in their communities. They were very excited to meet one of our Animal Cruelty Investigators as seen on Animal Cops: Houston! Our investigator described the tools she uses on a daily basis to help rescue animals in need, the procedures investigators have to follow when a case is reported and how animals are taken care of when brought to the Houston SPCA after being rescued.

Cruelty Investigator Vehicle Tour

The ‘Operation Rescue’ camp session ended each week with a visit by our friends from the Houston METRO Police Canine Program. These officers and their canine partners help keep people safe around Houston on a daily basis and were so kind to donate their time to our camp! Our critter campers were given a demonstration on how canine police officers can track different scents and alert their partners to danger.

Metro K-9 visit 2

Metro K-9 visit 1

Every summer, the Houston SPCA Critter Camp has hundreds of campers attend our camps who want to become veterinarians when they grow up. This new camp session was the best summer pick in Houston for any and all children who want to be a vet – the Houston SPCA’s VetCAMP! These sessions focused on teaching campers about animal anatomy and physiology, how to apply to veterinary school, common animal illnesses and what a veterinarian does on a daily basis.

Every day during VetCAMP, the Critter Campers were able to speak with members of our veterinary staff about veterinary science and medicine. At the end of the week, each Critter Camper was able to ‘apply’ (through an educational relay race) to be an honorary Houston SPCA Veterinarian!

VetCAMP Final

During their ‘final exam’ campers labeled bones and organs in their favorite animals, identified foreign objects in animal radiograph examples, created their own ‘surgical tool’ using craft materials, and used that surgical tool to perform ‘surgery’ on a shoe-box!  Our campers learned so much during VetCAMP and we can’t wait until next year’s sessions!

Summer Critter Camp 2014 has been amazing! If your children missed out on this fun and educational experience, keep checking our website for updates on Winter Critter Camp 2014 and Spring Break Critter Camp 2015!

To find more information about the Houston SPCA’s Critter Camp, check out our website: http://www.houstonspca.org/site/PageNavigator/humane_education_critter_camp  

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