Kids & Pets
August 6, 2020
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Summer camp review

By: Mickey Zeldes
July 26, 2019

Our Kidz ‘n Critter Summer camp is over for the year.  We had 62 kids here over four weeks learning about pet care and animal issues.  They spent time socializing with our animals, making crafts and having fun!  They were asked to share a few things that they learned.

Viviana De La Cruz

I learned that it is very dangerous to have an outdoor cat because they can get killed or very hurt.  You can compromise and have a big cage on the deck and have toys, a scratching post, and food and water; or if you really want your cat to stay indoors, you can “catify” your house and make it playful and fun for your cat to not go outside anymore.

Avery Williams and Aria Hidalgo

I learned that birds need to have their first front feathers to be clipped.  I also learned that birds can play peek-a-boo and brush your teeth for you (with their own beaks).  Cockatoos, if you know them well, they aren’t as loud as you think.  They also hop up and down on your shoulder.  I learned that Zeus the umbrella cockatoo can speak two languages.

Jack Petersen and Beatrice Hillborn

I learned that when cats are babies, they can’t retract their claws and that when a cat really loves you, they will give you a tiny head bump.

Ava Cavey

I learned that salmon eggs are called redds.  I also learned that salmon spawn in one certain river, stay in the river for about two years, then travel to the ocean.  They stay there for about two to four years, come back to where they were born, then lay eggs.  I also learned that when salmon are in the ocean, they are a silver color; then when they go back to the river, they are a pinkish color to attract mates.  I also found out that salmon lay about four million eggs in a lifetime.

Avery Johnson and Annabelle Pacheco

Did you know that once salmon are fully grown that they are called King Salmon?  I learned that one of the life stages of a salmon is called a fry.  Also, the biggest salmon is called the King Salmon.  Well, I’m gonna talk to you about salmon today.  Salmon are first born at a hatchery or river.  First, they are eggs that turn into alvin, then a fry.  Next they transform into a parr, then a salmon.  Finally, an adult King Salmon is their last life phase.  Well, that’s it for now.  I hope you learned a lot about salmon.

Travis King and Brady Herrin

I learned all about bunny body language.  I also learned what rabbits like to eat.  I learned that you have to trim a bunny’s nails every six weeks.  It takes a lot of work to take care of a bunny.

Briana Engstrom

I learned that dogs mark their territory and that they can sometimes fight with each other about it.  I also learned that you make like a tree when a dog comes up to you that you don’t know.  That means to stand still and keep your arms tucked in.

Harry Hillborn and Sylas Albright

Sara the vet tech taught us all about using anesthesia for the dogs during surgery.  I learned that one of the things that a vet tech does is to pull out a dog’s teeth if they are broken or infected.

Hannah Morrow and Vincent Maness

I learned that rats are easy pets to take care of.  They come in lots of different colors and use their tails to help them balance. I learned that rats are a lot of fun to play with.

Skylar Morris

I learned that it’s very important not to scream in a dog’s face, or even to put our face too close to a strange dog.  After asking the owner for permission, you should put your hand out like a fist so the dog can sniff it and get to know you before you pet them.

We got some positive feedback on the parent evaluations too:  

“Our kids had an amazing time.”  “Thank you for making this camp so much fun.” “We welcomed the chance to be there.  My girl always came out smiling.” 


Upcoming Events

 “Get Them Back Home” 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: Wed. 1-6:30; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.

Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents.  Call 588-3531 for an appointment. 

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