Summer fun, learning for the kids
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By Mickey Zeldes  April 18, 2014 12:00 am

What’s your little animal lover doing this summer? Looking for activities to keep your child engaged, learning and having fun? We have a suggestion – enroll him or her in our Kidz ‘n Critter Summer Camp.

We are offering seven one-week sessions of educational fun for students going into second through seventh grades. Each week is for a different age group, so the programming is age appropriate, and the kids can make new like-minded friends. Camps run from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and are held in the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter’s lobby.

Through guest speakers, arts and crafts, videos, field trips and demonstrations, the campers will learn about different animals and responsible pet care. Bringing in passionate and expert guests bring alive topics such as basic vet care, dog training, living with wildlife, why spay and neuter, the importance of ID tags and microchips, cat care, living with a house bunny and more.

The highlight of the camp for every camper asked (no surprise!) is the time spent with hands-on time with shelter animals – socializing kittens and cats and playing with dogs and other small animals. Fieldtrips have included exciting places such as Safari West, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Bergin University of Canine Studies, Animal Care Center (Emergency and Specialty Hospital), and Full House Farm.

Sessions for second- and third-graders are June 16-20 and July 21-25; sessions for fourth- and fifth-graders and 5th graders are June 9-13, July 14-18 and Aug. 4-8; and sessions for sixth- and seventh-graders are July 7-11 and July 28-Aug 1. To accommodate as many campers as possible, we limit each child to just one session and to their appropriate age group. Cost is just $125 per camper with a $25 discount for each sibling. Scholarships are available, so please don’t hesitate to give your child this opportunity to develop their love of animals even if you are on a strict budget. Registration includes cost of the field trip and a camp T-shirt.

Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and application forms are available at or at the shelter, which is located at 301 J. Rogers Lane, behind the Press Democrat building off Redwood Drive. The Animal Shelter League (ASL) funds the camps, and checks should be made out to them. Credit card payments can be accepted through the ASL website, Be sure to make a note in the Special Instruction box that it is for camp and list the child’s name so it will be credited properly.

We’re busy planning a full schedule of activities for our camp sessions and hope that your child will join us. Tell your friends so as many students as possible get a chance to participate in the fun. We certainly want to encourage every child’s love of animals and help them learn to be responsible pet parents. That’s what these camps are all about.


Upcoming events

• Fix-it clinics: Free cat spays/neuters and low-cost dog surgeries are available 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 tag and a back-up microchip 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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