Just making the fleece beds for homeless critters wasn’t enough. So the students at Morgan’s Creek Montessori made sure to hug every blanket before it went out so the animals at the Humane Society would know how much they cared.
On Wednesday, a group of those students no taller than many of the dogs at the shelter trundled into the newly built Humane Society of Central Arizona facility off McLane Road and presented their handy work to grateful shelter officials.
The students pulled from a large box dozens of items, including homemade pull toys made from tennis balls and rope and water bottles. The students’ tiny hands squeezed the sock-covered water bottles to show Humane Society Director Sarah Hock how they crinkled and cracked.
They then reached in and pulled out square fringe throws for the cats and larger fleece blankets with appliquéd dog bones for the dogs.
Each child signed the blanket they had helped make and even slept with it, said school director Roni Schutz.
“They wanted the dogs and kitties to know who made them,” she said.
For many of the children, it was their first visit to the new shelter, which took years of effort and fund-raising to build.
While the new facility is bigger, cleaner and safer, it is no home.
Donated items like this make it feel a whole lot nicer though, Hock said. “These dogs and cats are really going to appreciate being able to snuggle up on these warm beds and play with these toys because it is really sad sometimes for them to be here,” she said. “They miss their family and these things really help them until we can find them a home.”
Asked where they think the animals at the shelter come from, one girl responded from “broken homes.”
The kindergarten and preschool students took turns visiting with the cats and kittens in the viewing rooms. The kittens purred loudly as the children cradled them gently, the only cries of sadness when they left.
Schutz said making goods for the shelter was an exercise in volunteering.
“At this age, everything is gimme, gimme, gimme and I want them to give back to the community where they live,” she said. “We wanted to come down here to work, but they were too young so we made dog and kitty blankets.”
It took the group roughly two months to finish the items.
Schutz said like everything at Montessori, students learn at their own pace and with individual instruction.
“No two children are ever working on the same thing and everything is hands on,” she said.
For more information about Morgan’s Creek Montessori at 372 S. Rainbow Drive in Star Valley, call (928) 978-5627.