A group of volunteers in the Columbus, Ohio area have created a “satellite chapter” of the Tortorella Family Foundation’s Bear’s Angels program, in an effort to educate the public, especially children, about the ways we all can make a difference in our own neighborhoods.
Bear’s Angel’s Columbus is the creation of Jennifer Harp, a local entrepreneur and animal welfare advocate who was inspired by John and Christine Tortorella’s work on behalf of homeless and abused animals , as well as the Foundation’s dedication to humane education. Along with her mom, Cathy Krumhotz, a retired children’s librarian, Jen designed workshops for young children that revolve around the importance of providing proper care for cats and dogs and raising awareness about the power of kindness to all living things.
At the workshops, children pretend to be “Detective Bear” by using magnifying glasses and stethoscopes to discover animal health concerns like heartworm, fleas and ticks. Using a microchip scanner and ID tags, they learn about the importance of properly identifying family pets in the event they become lost.
Age-appropriate books, book marks and coloring pages provide fun activities while teaching about animal care and responsibility, such as how to approach a dog or cat, and providing for a pet’s basic needs like nutrition, exercise and proper shelter.
The Bear’s Angels – Columbus group offers these workshops to local schools and appears at festivals in the area. In addition to the workshops, they will undertake several projects to assist Columbus-area shelters and rescues. If you would like to help with a project or workshop, or to learn more about their scheduled programs, please contact them at info@bearsangelscolumbus. To print out copies of some of the materials they use, or to find books online that teach children about kindness to animals, please visit Do Bugs Have Belly Buttons? a humane education and literacy website of the Tortorella Family Foundation.