COVID-19 is still preventing BC SPCA branches from inviting teens and kids to attend its in-person summer camps.
As a result, the non-profit organization is going virtual once more — starting July 5 — and is set to give flexibility and compromise to those wishing to learn about properly caring for pets and animals, during a time when it's strongly encouraged to watch for their health.
Camp@Home, according to the BC SPCA, has been created to allow youths to stay safe in their own home and is set to immerse themselves with other fellow animal lovers from across the province for a more inclusive and diverse program.
“Thanks to this initiative, we have had kids join us for our virtual camps from parts of the province we have never reached before," said BC SPCA humane educator Blaire Sigson in a news release.
"It’s exciting for them because they just love animals, and they get to meet others their age from all over B.C. who also love animals.”
Regardless of which Camp@Home session they choose, the BC SPCA says children aged five to 16 will learn from experts and special guests on animal health, care and safety, as well as interactive crafts and games.
The five-day, eight full-week workshops are also set to provide financial forgiveness for those who may not be able to afford sending their kids to camp.
“To ensure every child has an opportunity to take part, discounts are available and a bursary program as well,” says humane education manager Paula Neuman.
“We don’t want cost to ever be a barrier to our programs," explained BC SPCA humane education manager Paula Neuman.
"Learning about kindness to animals and our planet is such an important part of building empathy skills, and that needs to be available to every child."
BC SPCA's Camp@Home runs from July 5 to Aug. 27.
For more information about all available virtual summer camps, you're encouraged to contact the SPCA's Humane Education team via email: email@example.com.
DON'T LEAVE PETS IN HOT CARS
The camp options also act as a reminder that while kids are learning from home and trying to stay cool during the current heat warning, owners should also be aware of their pets' health too.
Record high temperatures are expected across the province this week as Environment Canada predicts the thermometer to reach the low 40s at certain peaks.
BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said the provincial agency received over 800 calls about animals in distress in hot cars last year.
“We can’t stress strongly enough how dangerous it is to leave your pet in a hot car,” said Chortyk.
“The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with windows partially open, can rapidly reach a level that can seriously harm or even kill a pet.”
If you see a distressed dog in a parked vehicle, you're asked to:
- Note the license plate and vehicle information and ask nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle
- Call BC SPCA, animal control or law enforcement if an animal is in distress
- Do not break the window to access the vehicles
- Spread the word that it is dangerous for pets to stay in hot vehicles
Anyone who sees animals showing signs of heatstroke or general distress are asked to call the BC SPCA at 1-855-622-7722 during business hours or contact the local animal control agency or police.