ELKHART — There were puppies at the library on Wednesday afternoon.
Reigning Cat and Dogs Rescue brought a duo of six-week-old puppies for the children attending this week’s preschool story time.
Cheryl Mann, children’s librarian, hosts two preschool story times a month at Elkhart Public Library and Wednesday afternoon’s theme was Paw Patrol, which drew an audience of several dozen children.
After reading, “Mission: Paw,” Man introduced the special guests for the afternoon, a set of yet unnamed puppies awaiting their foster and then forever families at the large dog rescue.
President of the rescue, Kate Wheeler, taught preschoolers about pet rescues and altering.
Reigning Cat and Dogs has about 20 puppies ranging from six weeks to 16 weeks in its care. They specialize in large dog breeds and Wheeler said she prefers to rescue dogs that are sick or otherwise difficult.
“There’s just too many puppies and not enough forever homes,” Wheeler said.
Prospective owners foster their puppy from six weeks old, until it’s able to be altered. The rescue pays the shots, deworming, and alter before the foster family can declare ownership. The process prevents fosters from illegally breeding their puppy.
“I really think that we need to start teaching children that it’s really important to spay and neuter,” Wheeler said. “We need to educate these kids. You’ve got to get them into that mentality that you shouldn’t be breeding your pet. Breeding should be done by people who study genetics and are doing it for the betterment and the health of the animal.”
After petting the puppies, children then had the opportunity to play with Play-Doh, scrap materials for artwork, puzzles, matching games, shredded paper, blocks, fishing games and a paw patrol badge necklace.