Inspired by their passion for helping the community, Brightwood Elementary School’s DC Score Soccer Team participated in an animal welfare and animal abuse prevention service learning project in the Spring. The students focused on City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue because some of their wonderful teachers have fostered through the rescue. 

The Brightwood students were interested in both learning about animal welfare and in turning their interest into action. They spent time making homemade snuffle mats, which are toys that can help dogs and cats with mental enrichment, get out bursts of energy, and ease transition periods. They also raised nearly $675.00, which made a powerful impact on CDCK’s work to save dogs and cats in need.

CDCK’s Executive Director, Ray, chatted with the students about the rescue’s mission and how dogs and cats find their forever families. The students had their own questions for him, and Ray came prepared with his own questions for the students as well. Students who responded to the correct answers about animal welfare got a candy bar (don’t worry, every student got a candy bar!). Here’s what Ray said about the experience: 

“I think one of the most sincere questions was from a little boy asking if I have ever had an animal die while taking care of him/her.  It opened up conversation about this as part of the job sometimes in animal rescue and other fields and how to manage it.”

​After Ray’s presentation, the students continued to work to improve animal welfare through continued fundraising and finishing their snuffle mat projects. Their mats have been put to good use, especially helping dogs who have had a hard time getting enough outdoor exercise in the intense summer heat. The mats give them an opportunity to exercise with their minds, searching for little goodies tucked away in the carefully crafted mats.

Here are the wonderful students who worked so hard to help animals in need, proudly showing the fruits of their labors:

These amazing students are a great reminder that anyone who is an animal lover – young or old – can make an impact in dog’s and cat’s lives. Thank you to Brightwood’s DC Scores Soccer team for choosing to promote animal welfare by working with City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue for their service learning project!