“Be kind to your webfooted friends,” and other true stories about children helping animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2002:

“Adrian Crawford, 14, and Adam Lankford, 13,” of
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “were walking home in the rain after buying
Crawford’s mom last-minute flowers on Mother’s Day,” Associated
Press reported, “when they saw an agitated duck and heard chirping.
They realized her babies were trapped in a storm sewer and tried to
lift the manhole cover. It was too heavy, so they flagged down
police officer Gregg Fritz to help. The three pried off the lid,
and then the boys took turns lying on the ground, reaching down into
the sewer to scoop up the ducklings while the other boy held his
ankles.” Said Fritz, “It’s raining. They’re shivering. But they
saved those ducks. They made a decision to make a difference, and
they stayed there.” Added Crawford’s mother, Kathy Bergant, “He
gave me the best Mother’s Day present ever when he saved those
ducks,” who were later released at a public park by Officer Fritz
and the Milwaukee County Humane Society.

AFA-Bulgaria in April honored dog care volunteer Alexandra
Svetoslavova Mitseva, 8, of Sofia, as “Best Little Friend of the
Animals” for 2001. She received a horse sculpture created and
donated by Velemir Velev. Honored with her were fellow young
volunteers Kristian Anguelov and Svetoslava Filipova Cholakova. All
three children received gifts from Dogs Home Battersea, with messages
of appreciation from the Royal SPCA and ANIMAL PEOPLE.

The third grade students of Katy Des Chenes at the CDS School
in Escazu, Costa Rica, in May raised $200 to help the McKee Project
sterilize street dogs and feral cats. “I came home depressed,”
wrote McKee Project founder Christine Crawford, “as we had
absolutely no money to continue. What a wonderful surprise your gift
was! This donation will ensure that three more veterinarians are
trained to do sterilization surgery, and will sterilize 17-20
animals at the same time.”

Language arts and technology teacher Bev Defnall, of Martin
Luther King Jr. Middle School in Denver, recently helped her sixth
grade students to raise $2,600 for the Creative Acres sanctuary in
nearby Brighton. A planned field trip to the sanctuary was cancelled
when buses could not be arranged, but on May 20 Creative Acres
founder Maxine Mager alleviated the students’ disappointment by
bringing to the school a selection of Creative Acres’ most pettable
kittens, ferrets, dogs, rabbits, and hens. Creative Acres also
takes in horses, goats, sheep, pigs, goats, and emus, but
taking them to the school proved as impossible to accomplish as
finding buses on short notice for the 100 children.

The Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates and Humane Heart
on May 20 presented a prize of $100 to Lindsey Stein, a student at
Cabrini High School in New Orleans, as winner of their “Year of the
Humane Child” essay contest.

Fifth grader Nicole Halpin, 10, of Jackson, Wyoming,
daughter of Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation board member Mike
Halpin, found a dead trumpeter swan near a power line corridor
parallel to Wyoming route 89/191 when she was 8, and raised $12,000
during the next two years toward having the lines buried. The
Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation raised another $148,000, the
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation donated $60,000, Lower Valley
Energy contributed $40,000 worth of labor, the National Elk Refuge
gave $10,000, and beginning in November 2001, the job was

Kristine Thompson of Oklahoma and Anthony Trovato of
Pennsylvania were recently named winners of a nationwide student art
and essay contest held by United Animal Nations in honor of 21 former
Air Force research chimpanzees who were retired in 2001 to the Center
for Captive Chimp-anzee Care sanctuary in Florida.

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