Creating Meaningful Change Through Animal Engagement and Education at Sweet Water
Updated: Apr 7, 2022
By Rosie Gutierrez
My greatest wish for Sweet Water is that it become not only a rescue, rehab and sanctuary, but also become an education center. Animals are not able to help themselves, but we can help make a difference in their lives. Engaging others through the work we do here can help foster understanding and inspire a new generation of action and advocacy.
Animals often have a less than ideal life based on a number of factors and circumstances. In many cases, this suffering is due to some form of human involvement. And whether it is other people or a cruel stroke of fate that have contributed to their misfortune, the responsibility to care for animals in need rests with us. For many of us, who consider animals our best friends, the kind of work we do here is a true calling. I want to share the work we do here with anyone with an interest in how to properly care for animals and rehabilitate them when needed. But I am especially interested in giving young people opportunities to interact with our residents so they may make a connection and better understand how to protect and care for these wonderful creatures.
Every Animal is an Individual
In each individual situation we create an action plan to address each animal’s rehabilitation and needs. We also provide a lifetime sanctuary, for those who need it, here at the farm. By creating a safe environment where their needs are served, we provide a fulfilling life for these incredible animals.
The benefits of educational engagement at a place like Sweet Water also can have a profound effect on the humans as well.
Interacting with animals has been studied and proven to decrease the levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) in the body and also lower blood pressure. Additional studies have revealed that interactions with animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood. There is also research that confirms that these sorts of interactions can have a positive effect on child development, such as improving social skills and competence, as well as increasing empathy and compassion and reinforcing positive attitudes about animals.
If you are interested in visiting the farm with your child or a group of children, please contact us and we will do the best we can to accommodate your request. If you want to help us fund these programs through a donation, please indicate that you wish your donation to be used for future educational and enrichment programs. Thank you!