Champion: Cochrane and Area Humane Society

The Cochrane & Area Humane Society (CAHS) became a Champion with the Cochrane Sustainability Plan because several of the Plan’s Pathways to the Future tie in directly with organizational goals – specifically: social responsibility, empowerment, a healthy economy and providing opportunity.

The CAHS received funding from SPUR that supported our summer day camps for children, which focus on humane education. CAHS believes that social responsibility extends to both human and animal members of our community.  Through humane education the CAHS is teaching responsible pet care and striving to break the cycle of abuse, which demonstrates that animal abuse and neglect are linked to bullying and domestic violence. A goal of humane education is to help people develop empathy and compassion for other people and animals, respect for the environment and the ability to make decisions based on the welfare of others as well as themselves.

The summer camp also met a community need for more local day camps, thereby boosting the local economy. Teens were invited to volunteer as assistants at the camps. This job provided them with an opportunity to learn about working with children and animals, and gave them a glimpse of potential careers in childcare, animal care and animal welfare.

The camps were a great success and will be expanded in 2011. One parent commented that she’d sent her daughter to many camps, but this one was by far the best. The hope is to spread the message of responsibility and respect to even more children this year.

The CAHS also strives to be sustainable in the operation of the shelter. There is an extensive recycling program in place, the use of paper towel is limited by making cloth towels available, and the building is run in an efficient manner. The CAHS believes that being sustainable is an important component of being a responsible business.