Piggy Summer School in the Galapagos!

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By Michelle Green

Recently, the Darwin Animal Doctors Galapagos clinic had a visit from a local summer school. These students had been learning English and, recently, the topic was on animals. The teacher contacted the clinic to see if the class might be able to come by to visualise and practice what they had learned in recent weeks. The Darwin Animal Doctors team savour every opportunity to interact with local children and readily accepted.

   

When the class arrived, the Doctors had ready an exciting day. The students learned a lot about the clinic and what the Doctors do there, were able to experience and learn about what a health check on a dog is like, learned about how to look after their own pets and then challenged their knowledge with a giant board game.

  

After an information filled morning, each student was given a copy of “A Piggy’s Tale” (part of our Humane Education curriculum) to read about the power of empathy to all creatures.

  

Thank you to the amazing students and teachers that were involved, and also to all the Darwin Animal Doctors team who prepared such an interesting and informative day.

Piggy’s Visage Returns to His Hometown in the Dominican Republic!

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Piggy’s humane education comic and coloring pages have made their way back to where Piggy started life, in the Dominican Republic! Here, at the Puentes Early Learning Institute in Cabrera, Dominican Republic, teachers taught Piggy’s story and lessons to the children. The kids also had the opportunity to exercise their artistic side with Piggy coloring pages. Piggy could not be more proud to help the kids where he was born.

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Piggy Year-Long Education Program Ready to Change the World

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by Michelle Johnston

Large numbers of mistreated and stray/street animals is, unfortunately, just a symptom of a greater problem; a lack of education and understanding of animal welfare and environmental appreciation. One of the major factors that set Darwin Animal Doctors apart is that we don’t just treat this symptom by providing free, accessible veterinary care, but we also address the root cause through education.

Whilst there is value in just spaying and neutering large numbers of animals, this alone leaves communities without any understanding of why this was done and can even develop mistrust. We devote a lot of time and energy into working alongside a community to develop understanding that will provoke a long-term, generational change in thinking whilst providing the veterinary tools communities need in order to access necessary solutions.

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Over the years, we have gone into schools to speak to students, held community education events, developed educational posters and banners, worked with youth groups, and developed volunteer and job positions to train community members. During this time we have developed a variety of lesson plans and educational tools, including the development of our very own graphic novel; “A Piggy’s Tale”. Throughout the last year, we have been combining and re-editing many of these educational tools and programs to develop a comprehensive, full year education curriculum.

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Now we are very excited to announce that it is here and ready to go!

This curriculum is complete with assessments, marking rubrics and lesson plans and couples with commonly taught school subjects to avoid adding add any pressure on teachers’ valuable time in the classroom. The program develops students’ compassion for people and animals, teaches students about the needs of a pet and the responsibilities of having a pet in the family, introduces students to the balance of ecosystems in our environment and how important they are to protect, explains common environmental issues and achievable solutions (such as spaying and neutering your pets) and emphasises the importance of training you pet and safety around animals – all through classroom games, presentations, self-directed research and, our very own board game and – of course – the amazing “A Piggy’s Tale” graphic novel.

Currently, we are in progress to roll out the program country-wide in Belize and in schools in the US. With requests for the program from two different projects in Mexico, to the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Sumatra, Ecuador, and more flooding in, we are going to be very busy implementing our Humane Education Curriculum around the world.

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If you are looking to educate your community on how to look after and care for animals, the environment and appreciate an ecosystem as a whole, please feel free to contact us to begin discussing if our education curriculum will suit your needs.

Piggy Visits the Children of the Gillen Brewer School!

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Professor Piggy brought his humane education program to the Gillen Brewer School for children with significant learning challenges! This was Piggy’s second visit to the school. The kids were amazing as always, showing that they can overcome anything, and the teachers showed once again that they can lead these children past any obstacle.

The teachers and students alike loved Piggy, as well as his education program, written by curriculum writer Kim Diaz. At first, no one expected all the kids to follow along to an analog humane education comic book that we would read together in its entirety. However, to everyone’s delight, the kids were rapt and read along to the entire comic, A Piggy’s Tale issue #2, while asking compelling and smart questions about each page they read. Afterward, the amazing teachers taught the kids how to write their own comics to tell their stories.

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(kids asking questions about Piggy and his comic story)

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(kids reading along to Piggy’s story, learning humane education)

Last year, we brought issue #1 of his humane education program to the school. The kids asked when Piggy could come back so we can continue the lesson to issue #3!

Piggy helps children through their cat’s tough times

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Pedro, a kitty in Galapagos who got hit by a car, would lose his leg, the veterinary staff told the family. The children were distraught, and didn’t want it, and were so sad. Carmen the Darwin Animal Doctors vet consoled the children, and told them about a little puppy who was about to lose a leg too, and how he got through it. And she showed them Piggy’s comic, which they took home. The next day, they came back happier, and took home their new three legged cat. 🙂

Read the full story here:

http://darwinanimaldoctors.org/pedro-a-three-legged-super-hero/

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Piggy’s Education Program in Galapagos Inspiring Kids to Educate!

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From Michelle Johnston, creator of the latest Humane Education program featuring A Piggy’s Tale in the Galapagos:

Back in the Galapagos Islands, the month started with a wonderful demonstration of the progress seen due to the education of the next generation by the Darwin Animal Doctors. In the start of the month, the Doctors acknowledged having seen a few girls coming into the clinic repeatedly with a variety of different dogs and cats. The Doctors asked the girls if they had a large number of animals themselves, and were very surprised at their response.

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The three teenagers told the doctors that they had formed the “KeMaHa Group”, a group focused on improving the lives of all animals. The girls aim to educate the community by starting the conversation over the cruelty of docking ears and tails, pushing local residents to adopt pets instead of buying from a local (illegal) breeder and starting the conversation over the importance of sterilization. Not only will the girls educate people on sterilisation, but if an owner tells the group that they would sterilize their pet but don’t have the time to make it to the clinic, the girls will go to the owner’s house, pick their pet up and bring them to the clinic themselves, just making it in time for their first class at school. The group is an inspirational example of the great strides forward that the education efforts by Darwin Animal Doctors are making in Galapagos Islands.

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Hope, and an Awesome Comic!

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It’s been a tough year, hasn’t it? People everywhere are looking for a message of hope, positivity, and connection.

What better gift could you give this holiday than a beautiful book that fosters unity, forgiveness, and empathy, where all the proceeds go to teaching children all over the country to be mindful and compassionate, while saving animals worldwide?

Our new graphic novel has been getting universally glowing reviews, it is sure to make a loved one smile, and you’ll be helping the children Piggy works with when you purchase it.

You can get the trade paperback here:
http://piggytale.storenvy.com/products/17284470-a-piggys-tale-tpb

This past year, Piggy has worked with so many amazing children who have been discovering their inner strength and abilities. We’re honored to be able to help these inspiring kids realize how able they are.

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This holiday season, how wonderful would it be to know that the proceeds from your gift-wrapped present to someone you care about, is helping children learn to value themselves and others?

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Spread some positivity while there’s still some time left to make 2016 count. Thank you so much for supporting the kids and the animals they love.

You can purchase Piggy’s graphic novel here:
http://piggytale.storenvy.com/products/17284470-a-piggys-tale-tpb