This year several of the Canine Commander 4-H Club members decided to take a new project. This project is called 4-H PetPALS. It is an intergenerational program that links youth and their pets with senior adults.
Kalie Scott and her sister, Haiden, attended a mandatory training last March that was held in Columbus. Kalie is the club’s specially-trained master 4-H volunteer leader.
In order to take the 4-H PetPALS project, youth must belong to a club with a master 4-H PetPALS volunteer leader. This leader is responsible for teaching youth the skills they need to interact with residents in health care facilities. By applying the power of the human-animal bond, 4-H members learn to select, socialize and train their pets.
This year the Canine Commanders had several dogs and two rabbits participate in 4-H PetPALS. Before members may take their pets to visit health care facilities, the pets must successfully complete the Canine Good Citizens (CGC) test. To help prepare the members and their pets for the CGC, Kalie brought crutches, a walker, and wheelchair to several meetings.
In August, members had the opportunity to take the CGC test during the Ohio State Fair Dog Show. Anne Marie Ogden, Kathryn Ogden, Emma Sanderson, Haiden Scott and Keira Scott passed the CGC with their pets. These members are in the process of planning visits with their pets at health care facilities later this year.
Donita Everetts of the 4-H advisor for the Canine Commander 4-H Club.