Camp for Kids: Critter Camp

By Jodi Saeland | Posted - May 15, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.


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SUMMIT COUNTY — Need something for your kids to do this summer? Family and Outdoors Specialist Jodi Saeland shows us what Critter Camp in Summit County has to offer.

The Friends of Animals Utah Rehab Ranch in Summit County is a place for rescued pets. Once the animals are rescued from shelters across northern Utah, they're brought to the ranch to get ready for adoption.

Executive Director Claudia McMullin said, "We pull healthy adoptable animals. We don't give up once we're done, so we don't give up on the animal."

Critter camps are offered through the summer to educate children and expose them to dogs and cats, and how to care for them.

Sarah Wilfahrt, the ranch manager, said, "We're using dogs that have a really solid foundation and socialization skills."

"They all have good obedience. (We are) using mostly dogs that I have either interacted with and worked with or have raised myself," she added.

"The basic message we want to get across is that dogs and cats are part of our lives and they are members of our family. We want to encourage our kids to learn how to treat them appropriately, and of course with dogs, interact with them safely."

Critter Camp Info
  • Week-long day camps
  • Cost: $200
  • Ages 9 - 12
  • Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • More info: foautah.org

Campers also learn how rescue dogs work.

"Rafferty is going to come find you, but because I might not see Rafferty find you, he's got to come back and tell me he found you. So the first time he comes to you, you guys have to play dead. Then he's going to leave and he's going to come back and get me. Then we're going to come find you guys and you're going to play tug with him," Wilfahrt explained.

"I hope for people to take away from the ranch the importance of humanely treating our animals and our pets, the importance of spaying and neutering our animals and the importance of being aware of the population of unwanted animals in the U.S.," Wilfahrt said.

According to its website, campers learn things like animal safety and handling, an introduction to wildlife, basic pet training skills, dog grooming skills, and animal healthcare. Activities include:

  • Doggy Derby
  • Games with Dogs
  • Socializing with Cats in the Cat Room
  • Crafts
  • The Wildlife Guy
  • Animal Shelter Visit
  • Summit County Sheriff K-9 Unit Demonstration

The ranch also offers birthday parties and works with senior centers.

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Jodi Saeland

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