Countless shelter animals have participated in humane education programs over the years. Most end their teaching careers when they leave the shelter.
An elite few carry on with the mission and won't stop until all animals are treated humanely and with kindness. They are…
Arthur - Big Things in a Small Package
Did you know that fleas cannot survive in a chinchilla's dense fur? That's just one of the astounding facts that students learn when Arthur visits. The cuddly rodent belongs to a CCHS volunteer who describes their introduction as "love at first sight." When she adopted him from a classmate who could no longer keep him, she had no idea how much character was in that small, furry package.
Arthur is a social butterfly, accepting cuddles and sitting atop shoulders. When his human friends are too busy to snuggle, he prefers to roll around the house in his giant plastic ball. Arthur squeaks his opinion on everything and uses his unique vocal inflections to express when he is happy or upset.
Arthur's boundless energy is put to good use when he visits the Animal Adventure Camp and the Boys and Girls Love Pets! Camp. Following a visit from Arthur, campers understand that even the most unusual looking pets deserve care and kindness.
Ivy - The Orphan Who Became an Educator
In the fall of 2006, Ivy arrived at the Champaign County Humane Society as an orphan. At only six days old, the tiny kitten was placed in a foster home to receive the round-the-clock care that she required.
Ivy's foster parents worked tirelessly to tend to her every need, and celebrated as she grew stronger each day. After weeks of hard work, her foster parents couldn't imagine parting ways with the little brown tabby, and so they adopted her. Today, Ivy is a feisty kitty who loves riding on shoulders and pestering her canine siblings.
The little brown tabby has attended over 75 humane education programs of all types. Her story is a tribute to the foster parents that help the Champaign County Humane Society care for so many orphaned, sick, and injured animals each year.
Sidney - A Good Citizen... With Credentials to Prove It!
Some people say that black Labradors are "plain". Don't tell that to Sidney. This dog is exceptional!
Sidney's parents thought her friendly personality would make her a good therapy dog. She went to classes and studied hard to pass a test to become a registered Delta Society Pet Partner. As a Pet Partner, Sidney works with young people such as the residents of the Cunningham Children's Home. Her weekly pet therapy visits provide friendship to the residents, helping them gain the confidence to reach personal goals.
When work ends, Sidney doesn't slow down. She loves swimming, dock diving and playing retrieving games.
Like her parents, Sidney always finds time to help the Champaign County Humane Society. Her visits to the Animal Adventure Camp and the Boys and Girls Love Pets! Camp prove to children that pets can be very important and productive members of society. The campers all agree…Sidney is anything but plain!
Sport - A Little Life Transformed
Sport wasn't always the trim, active dog that he is today. In 2007, the Schnauzer mix arrived at the shelter as the result of a humane investigation.
Shelter staff spent three hours shaving his terribly matted coat. Weighing in at an astounding 50 pounds, Sport was placed into foster care on a strict diet and exercise regimen. As the weeks went by, his foster parents were amazed as the morbidly obese dog transformed. Nearly four months after arriving in his foster home, Sport weighed in at a healthy 18 pounds! Today, Sport shares his amazing story at area senior centers and high schools.
His favorite visits are with the residents of the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center, where he exemplifies the lesson that with a little help, it is never too late to turn your life around.
Suzie Q - From Texas With Love
This sweet Norwegian elkhound was found abandoned at a large Houston, Texas animal shelter. To make matters worse, tests confirmed she was heartworm positive. Some shelters with limited resources euthanize heartworm-positive dogs like Suzie Q. Thankfully, the John Nelson Moosedog Rescue Fund came to her rescue and placed her into a foster home where she recovered successfully.
Happy and healthy, Suzie Q found a second chance with a family half way across the country. She boarded a plane and flew to Champaign, Illinois to start her new life with Steve and Candace McMaster - her "furever family". They welcomed her into their home and quickly discovered how intelligent she was. Suzie Q learned tricks with ease, even performing one in Spanish!
Suzie's temperament, training, and inspiring story made her the perfect animal ambassador for practically any humane education program. She visited camps, retirement homes, scout meetings, and libraries. In her spare time, she visited Holy Cross Elementary to teach the students about shelter dogs and their care. Sadly, Suzie died this winter. She will be missed by her many friends at CCHS.