Making KIND news in schools a top priority
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By Mickey Zeldes  April 11, 2014 12:00 am

What does a humane or kind school look like?  One where the children treat each other with respect and empathy?  Where bullying doesn’t exist and the focus is on learning?  Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? 

Well it takes work to make dreams become reality, and that is the goal of most schools today.  We know for sure that one local elementary school is actively engaged in teaching the children these positive traits and we are proud to partner with Monte Vista to help achieve the goal of becoming a kind school.

Thanks to the financial support of FAIRE (Friends of the Animals in the Redwood Empire) every teacher at Monte Vista received a subscription to “KIND News” this year.  “KIND News” is an eight-page magazine produced by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that comes out five times during the school year. The magazine is sent to each teacher in bundles of 28, so every child receives their own copy.  It is written in three levels, so it’s age appropriate for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

“Through profiles of amazing kids, features about rescued animals, pet care tips, and how-to’s on helping backyard wildlife, ‘KIND News’ encourages youth to coexist humanely with animals, celebrate the human-animal bond, and become active in efforts to protect animals,” said a statement on the HSUS website. 

Individual subscriptions are available for just $10, or you can adopt your child’s classroom for just $30 for a school year. If you are interested in learning more about this great publication, go

In addition to utilizing this great teaching material all school year, during the past two weeks representatives from the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter were invited into 11 of the classrooms to give presentations on a variety of animal care topics.  The youngest children learned about responsible pet care and met shelter ambassadors Brandy, a golden retriever and Maia, a rat that is available for adoption.

We made students aware of our “No More Lost Pets” campaign and offer to give free pet ID tags and microchips to their pets.  In addition, the older students talked about pet overpopulation, the shelter’s Fix-it Clinic and offer of free cat spays and neuters.  Interested in a classroom program or a shelter tour for your child’s classroom?  There is more information on the shelter’s website about what we offer – check it out at We’re looking for another elementary school to adopt next year, so let us know if you know a school that might be interested.

We are proud of Monte Vista and were impressed with the students and teachers we met during our programs there.  We especially appreciate the efforts of teacher Macy Juhola in helping to get us into this school and for coordinating our presentations.  It’s so nice to know there is a school in Rohnert Park really doing something to cultivate a humane and kind culture.  We hope it’s contagious.


Upcoming events

• Fix it Clinics: Free cat spays/neuters and low-cost dog surgeries for low-income residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. Call 588-3531 for more information or an appointment.


• No More Lost Pets campaign: Every lost pet should have a way to get back home.  Free pet ID tags and back-up microchips are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati.  No appointment necessary; just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wednesday 1-6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 1-5:30 p.m.; and Sunday 1-4:30 p.m.


Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at

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