Karma: It Comes Back Around
There is an organization, Karma Dogs, that is made up primarily of rescued dogs who have been given a second chance and now, with the help of their owners, help others by saving dogs and serving people. Their primary functions include improving literacy skills among elementary school students and working with children and adults with developmental disabilities to improve communication and socialization skills.
Due to the horrific act of animal cruelty that happened in Baltimore to Phoenix, the dog set on fire, Karma Dogs has instituted a new program.
The nonprofit organization founded to teach kids to appreciate and respect animals just announced its Oath of Kindness program.
The OK program is a way for children and teens to pledge to be kind to animals, to tell their friends to be kind, too, and to promise to tell an adult if they see animal cruelty.
"We hope the Oath of Kindness program helps stimulate conversation between children and their parents regarding the treatment of household pets and other animals," said Kelly Gould, executive director of Karma Dogs. "We work primarily with rescued dogs and it has been our goal at Karma Dogs to teach adults and children that animals have an intrinsic value."
Karma Dogs will be "swear in" kids who will also get a "pawtographed" certificate and a ribbon they can wear. Karma Dogs will also launch an e-newsletter with positive stories about children being kind to animals, as they say, "whether scaly or slimy, feathered or blue, dog or cat, furry or fat." Children are encouraged to submit their own stories via OK@karmadogs.org.
On Saturday, June 20 at the Towson Public Library from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., children attending a H.E.A.R.T.S. (Help Encourage All Readers to Succeed) program will be able to take the Karma Dogs Oath of Kindness.
Gould felt like her organization could do something in light of the Phoenix case.
"We have hundreds of kids who participate in our reading programs. If each of those children stop to think about the importance of being kind and make a promise to the dog they have been working with, then I hope in the future they will remember that promise when faced with someone mistreating an animal," she told Unleashed. "From not laughing at cruel jokes to stopping someone from abusing an animal, kids need to know how important it is to be kind. Sometimes, I think we just have to stop and remind people of that.
I want to thank Jill Rosen of the Baltimore Sun for getting the word out about Karma Dogs new program. Teaching children when they're young is the best way to stop animal cruelty. Programs like this which teach empathy and sympathy for animals can make all the difference in the world when a child is confronted with an animal abuse situation, it gives them the skills to make the right choice.