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Pets Camp

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WSVN -- At this summer camp, the stars are the four-legged furry types.

Counselor: "He's telling you that he wants to shake hands."

These kids are spending their summer vacation at the Humane Society Of Broward County, taking part in the Pets-R-Us Summer Camp and loving every minute of it!

Abbi Brucks, 7 years old: "I love dogs, cats, bunnies, horses and fish."

Gryff: "I absolutely love cats and dogs and bunnies."

Here, campers learn exactly what it takes to care for a pet. That it's not as simple as just picking one out; it takes a lot of time, patience and money.

Dan Idzinga, Humane Education Specialist: "We're going to find out how much that stuff costs, and you're going to mark that down on your form. Then, we'll come back upstairs and discuss how much things cost."

One activity involves giving the kids an itemized list of what every pet needs. Then, they head down to the boutique and pick out the items they want.

Girl: "I am looking for a food and water bowl."

From bowls to leashes to toys, they write down the prices...

Dan Idzinga: "That's $14.99."

And then add it all up!

Dan Idzinga: "How much do you think you spent?"

Girl: "$300."

Dan Idzinga: "$453.46, and that doesn't include tax."

It's a valuable lesson. Counselors want the kids to learn before they take a pet home.

Gryff: "I think it's a hard responsibility."

For campers like 7-year old Abbi Brucks, who already has several pets, she now has a new appreciation of what it takes to take care of them.

Abbi Brucks: "I've learned that animals are really, really hard to take care of."

They also get tons of hands-on time with the animals, learn how to groom them, teach them tricks and stay safe around animals they don't know.

Counselor: "So we teach them to always ask permission before they pet a new dog that they don't know and what to do if there is a stray animal in their neighborhood."

Most importantly, they're made aware at a young age about the homeless pet population and the need for adoption.

Sydney Towle, 7 years old: "Sometimes, it gives me a little tear, because people don't have homes for the animals."

Seven-year old Sydney and her older sister Samantha are repeat campers and plan to return to the Humane Society for another summer session. They're already planning for a future of helping animals.

Samantha Towle, 10 years old: "I'm considering working here as a volunteer at the Humane Society."

Lynn Martinez: "The Pets-R-Us Camp is already booked for this summer, but the Humane Society of Broward County has a kids club that runs during the school year."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:Humane Society of Broward County2070 Griffin RoadFort Lauderdale, FLTel: (954) 989-3977www.humanebroward.com

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