IMAGE Wanderers' Rest visits the Oneida Nation Early Learning Center

Dee Schaefer, Humane Educator with the WRHA, brought along with her two rescue dogs trained specifically for connecting with students in the classroom, Mya and Pebbles. The students had just learned about caring for animals.

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Children enrolled in the Oneida Nation Early Learning Center got a hands-on lesson on compassion and care when the Wanderers’ Rest Human Association Inc. (WRHA) paid the classrooms a visit.

Dee Schaefer, Humane Educator with the WRHA, brought along with her two rescue dogs trained specifically for connecting with students in the classroom, Mya and Pebbles.

Mya was adopted by Dee after coming to the shelter. The Labrador sustained major injuries after being hit by a car and then being abandoned for two days. But Dee said she saw something special in the dog, and she took her home and specifically uses her as a therapy dog. The Dachshund Pebbles is a Katrina survivor who was rescued from her home following the hurricane.

In making visits such as this, Dee explained she’s teaching children and adults a more humane, compassionate life style.

“I can teach kids how to approach dogs,” through such visits, she said. “There’s a lot of bite issues here in our county and if I can get the kid this young and talk to them… it’s good for the kids because (then) they don’t get bit, and it’s good for the dogs because they don’t end up in a bite quarantine at the shelter.”

WRHA is a private, non-profit organization that was started in 1981 by a group of people who donated their time, money and energy to create an animal shelter. The association owns and operates an animal shelter located in Canastota, N.Y., and they serve Madison County and surrounding areas.

At the end of the visit the children and Elders presented Dee donations of food and pet supplies. This was not the first visit by Wanderers’ Rest. The WRHA had visited the ELC before and has even had children visit the shelter in Canastota. The visit appropriately came after the children learned about the responsibilities of pet ownership.

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