In addition to the summer camps that cater to children with interests in sports, drama or music, there are a few with appeal to children who love animals. Of special note are the camps at the Louisiana SPCA and the Audubon Zoo.
The Louisiana SPCA offers camps throughout the year, including three during the summer. Its programs are designed to teach youth the importance of proper pet ownership and to instill compassion for animals. From general animal care topics to training techniques, the activities are interactive and promise lots of puppy kisses and kitten purrs. The camps are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and fill up quickly. For information about age requirements, fees and schedules, visit la-spca.org/camps.
The Audubon Nature Institute offers a variety of Audubon Zoo summer camp options for children from age 4 to seventh grade. Activities include daily animal encounters, assisting with animal feedings, outdoor play, zoo hikes, and arts and crafts projects. Audubon also offers special opportunities for children with visual or orthopedic impairments. Each week has a specific theme, and space is limited. For information on registration, fees and schedules, visit www.auduboninstitute.org/education/camps.
Several rescues and shelters have volunteer opportunities for teens. For example, Animal Rescue New Orleans allows 12- to 14-year-olds to volunteer with a parent present; those 15 and up may volunteer without a parent. Volunteers under 18 must have parental consent.
Contact local parish shelters for age requirements and volunteer opportunities. Most rescues and shelters will provide community service hours for high school students.
SECOND-CHANCE SUNDAYS: Every Sunday in May, the Louisiana SPCA will reduce the adoption fee of all cats and dogs 6 months and older by 50 percent. Adoption hours on Sundays are from noon to 4 p.m. The Louisiana SPCA is at 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans, and its phone number is (504) 368-5191.
NEW ORLEANS BUDDY BREAK: The Jefferson Parish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will sponsor a Buddy Break in Lafayette Square in New Orleans from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. Buddy Breaks pair Central Business District office workers with shelter pets for lunchtime strolls.
For information, call (504) 931-4777 or visit jeffersonspca.org.
SHELTER GROUNDBREAKING: The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Jefferson Parish West Bank Animal Shelter will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at Lapalco Boulevard and Peters Road in Harvey.
ADOPTION EVENT: A name-your-price adoption event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at PetSmart, 1321 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey. The event is sponsored by the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society and the Jefferson SPCA. For information, call (504) 392-1601.
DINING FOR A CAUSE: Every Wednesday in May, Zea Café, 1655 Hickory Ave., Harahan, will donate a portion of the bill to Animal Rescue New Orleans when patrons mention ARNO.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to http://www.nola.gov/nordcmailto:bbourgeois%40jeffparish.net?subject=Lost%20or%20found%20pethttp://www.animalrescueneworleans.orghttp://www.japansocietyofneworleans.orgmailto:wcsmith%40jefferson.lib.la.us?subject=Researching%20French%20ancestry%20onlinehttp://jeffersonspca.org">firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animalrescuecolumn@ gmail.com, www.animal rescueneworleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.