ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION

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Paws and Learn Humane Education Center strives to promote respect, responsibility and compassion towards animals, each other, and our planet. Our goal is to encourage people of all ages to pause for a moment and learn about how their actions impact the lives of animals.  As consumers we cast votes with our wallets - whether it's the food we eat, the products we use or the entertainment we support, our choices directly influence how animals get treated. As guardians, our pets depend on us to provide humane treatment and quality care, and to co-exist with wildlife in a peaceful, sustainable manner. Our actions can promote compassion or they can perpetuate suffering. Paws and Learn was founded in the firm belief that education is the key to encouraging responsible and humane choices. When we become more informed consumers and guardians, our actions become a true reflection of our values.

 

Quick Stats:

  • Independent, nonprofit 501c3 organization
  • Formed in 2009
  • Volunteer-run
  • Funded by donations from the public and grants
  • Educate approximately 10,000 people per year

 

Mission Statement:

Paws and Learn Humane Education Center was created to teach children and adults about responsible pet care and animal welfare. Our goal is to provide a free public education program to help people make informed, humane and conscientious choices affecting animals. We seek to improve the quality of care that companion animals receive, reduce animal abandonment, and promote compassion and respect for all living things.

 

Core Beliefs:

  • All life is connected
  • All life should be respected
  • Everyone has basic needs, both physical and psychological, and they deserve to be met
  • Our choices can have far-reaching effects

 

Goals:

  • Spread awareness about issues affecting animals and the environment
  • Instill values of respect, responsibility and compassion for animals, each other and our planet
  • Help people take action and make choices that promote empathy and respect for all living things.

 

Outreach Services 

School Program

Presentations are provided free of charge to schools throughout Los Angeles County year-round on a daily basis.  We visit all grades from pre-school through high school, and address a wide variety of topics at an age-appropriate level.  These character building, interactive lessons encourage critical thinking and empathy awareness.

 

Community Outreach

Presentations are provided free of charge to adult clubs, universities, churches and senior centers.  Themes include responsible pet care as well as animal welfare issues.  We are also available via phone and email to assist the public with their animal-related questions and issues.

 

Public Events

We staff informational tables at community events throughout the year, distributing educational material and spreading awareness of resources available to the public.

 

Consultations

We believe humane education should be available in every community. To help achieve this, we provide free phone consultations to assist those interested in starting a humane education program in their own community.

 

Website

Our website is a comprehensive resource for the community whether someone is thinking about adopting, already has a pet, or wants information on animal welfare issues.  It also provides follow up activities to both students and teachers in the hope that humane education will continue in the classroom long after our presentations are over.

 
 

FOUNDERS

Meredith LaBonge

Meredith's career to date has been an interesting combination of social services, animals and education. In college she interned at a therapeutic riding center assisting clients with physical, mental and emotional disabilities ride horses. She also volunteered at the humane society bringing animals to visit residents at a local nursing home. Meredith graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and then spent time at a residential treatment center assisting children with emotional disabilities care for farm animals for therapeutic benefit. After spending several years educating women and children at a residential substance abuse treatment program she decided she missed having an "animal element" to her job. She was fortunate to discover her passion for humane education in 2005 when she started working for a private animal shelter. She managed a program that annually educated over 20,000 children and adults on responsible pet care and animal overpopulation. Meredith learned firsthand how desperate the need is for humane education in Los Angeles and how few resources there are for the community to access it. This sparked the idea of creating an independent Humane Education Center. With the help of her previous co-worker, Jennifer, it is their goal to make Paws and Learn a primary source of educational animal information. Meredith shares her home with her husband, son, their lab rescue Harley, and a parakeet named Blair.

 

Jennifer Bailey

Jennifer has been passionate about rescue since she brought home her first stray dog when she was in the fifth grade. Her parents taught her empathy and compassion for all life at an early age. After graduating from USC, she worked in television production to pay the rent and volunteered with many rescues around Los Angeles to get her animal fix. Jennifer enjoyed working mobile adoptions where she was given a chance to interact with the public and educate people. When a fulltime position in Humane Education opened up, she jumped at the opportunity to combine her love of animals, children and puppets. Jennifer believes strongly that by educating children, we are creating better adults.  She is very excited to be a part of Paws and Learn with Meredith.  Jennifer continues to bring home strays. She and her husband Erik currently share their home with 4 rescues: pit bull mix Lily and their three cats Pip, Eowyn and Wednesday.

 

OUR INSPIRATION