Kids Learn Pet Care with 4-H program

By Samuel Snow

Special to the MLN

Denise Houston, 4-H Coordinator, teaching kids about proper pet care at the Mesquite Library. Photo by Samuel Snow

Children learned how to properly take care of pets at a 4-H for Kids activity held at the Mesquite Library on July 11. Mesquite 4-H Coordinator Denise Houston presented information and materials to teach those attending.

Houston said she has been going to the library a couple times a month during the summer to educate on different topics.

“This event today is on pet care,” Houston said. “I am teaching them how to know if they are qualified to have a pet and what pet would be best for them. Also I talk about how to feed and take care of their animals to keep them healthy, as well as take them to the vet.”

The group Houston was educating were the 5-8 year olds that are referred to as the “Clover Buds.” She said they can’t technically show animals at the fair or other competitions until age 9, so she holds activities for the younger group to involve them in other things that they can learn.

4-H is a national club program that helps children learn different life skills through hands on experience. 4-H holds different nonprofit activities that range from robotics engineering, agriculture, and karate. Houston said the livestock program has been around for many years in the valley, and she is trying to bring new subject areas for kids to work in.

“4-H encounters everything you can imagine,” Houston said. “There is a core curriculum, so I’m trying to make it more popular in the valley. I am introducing new subjects such as the  STEM activities and robotics. Right now we are holding these at the library, but are working on getting our own independent location.”

Rocki Shamer is the 4-H leader over the Super S club, which only involves animals. They are responsible to care for their animals and learn how to show them in front of judges at the county  fair.

“4-H helps the youth in so many ways,” Shamer said.”With my own children, I know that it has helped them be more responsible. I also think it helps them to learn respect for the animals that they show and the adults that they come in contact with. They are learning leadership skills.”

In September, the after-school 4-H classes will resume based on their ability. Those being held at the library can be found on the library calendar or the 4H Mesquite,NV Facebook Page.

Those who want to join 4-H need to be 5-18 years old. For more information contact Houston at houstond@unce.unr.edu or 702-308-6736.

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