CAZENOVIA, NY (WSYR-TV) – While school may be on hiatus this week, these Syracuse youngsters are still learning and getting the chance to spend time with rescue animals at The Haven at Skanda in Cazenovia.
“It’s a goat that looks a bit like a cow because it has white and colored markings like gray and black,” said Ellen Beckerman, executive director of The Haven at Skanda.
The children also had the opportunity to groom mini donkeys.
“It’s really exciting and fun because there are so many different animals to see,” said 13-year-old Ajahnek Carter.
“All the animals here are fun, cool. I love seeing new animals, meeting new animals,” said 10-year-old Jahmeir Hardy Thompson.
This experience means much more than that.
“For a lot of kids who have been under tremendous stress over the past two years, having animals running towards them with love in their eyes is incredibly heartening,” Beckerman said. “And there is only the joy of discovering animals for the first time.”
Skanda’s connection to the city started last summer with the Cuse Quines program where they would bring a few animals to Syracuse for the kids to meet. This partnership now allows children to come to Skanda to meet the animals in their own environment.
“We always want to reach the kids who need us the most, but sometimes the kids who need us the most don’t have transportation to get through midtown New York when they make it really possible,” said Beckerman said.
Leaving them an experience they will take with them forever.
“That you’re always supposed to be aware of how to treat all animals,” said 13-year-old Latrice Judge.
This experiment was funded by the Syracuse Parks and Donations Departments. You can donate here.