Carnegie Library to teach animal safety

Katie Smith, News Editor

Members of the Charleston Carnegie Public Library will host an animal safety program in partnership with the University of Illinois’ Veterinary Student Outreach Program (VSOP) at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the library’s craft room.

Beth Lugar, the event’s coordinator, said “Muttigrees” is a program intended to raise awareness about the appeal of owning mixed-breed dogs rather than strictly buying pedigrees.

“It is to help the adoptability of mutts instead of just pedigrees,” she said. “They aren’t any specific breeds. They have weird quirks about them.”

Lugar said pedigrees, or pure-bred animals, are often-times more desired and therefore more adoptable, rather than mixed-breeds, which tend to be less expensive to adopt, but are also less sought after by potential owners.

The event will be led by a U of I veterinary student and her Labrador mix as they talk about dog body language and make smelling jars to learn about the animals’ sense of smell.

“We’re offering the program for 3 -6 age group because kids get so excited around dogs, they run right up to them,” Lugar said.

She added that she hopes the program teaches young children how to approach a dog and sense whether or not it presents a physical a threat.

“Most young children who are bit by dogs are bit on the face or hands,” she said.
Lugar said the theme fit well with the library’s summer reading program, “Paws to Read,” so they decided to proceed with the idea throughout the summer.

The program is part of an ongoing series the library plans to host in coordination with VSOP to teach different age groups how to interact with and care for animals.

“She’s really hoping to promote respect for all life forms,” Lugar said.

The library will host an additional program with VSOP June 17, when they will address teenagers and discuss pet first aide and responsible pet ownership.

“She’s doing two programs to fit the age group and the time frame,” Lugar said.

Although each program is targeted for a particular age group, Lugar said all of the sessions will include hand-on activities and are welcome to people of all ages, although she asks that attendees not bring their pets.

Katie Smith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].