Read Caroline's story about her experiences with humane education and IHE:
I wanted to do something special for my Dad for Christmas way back in 1984. His dog, Spot was his pride and joy, so I thought it would be neat to have her picture taken with Santa Claus. Santa photos also benefited the local humane society, which I knew very little about at the time.
I took Spot in for her pictures; as it turns out she was terrified of cameras and hid under the bed for days after her “Bad Santa” photo shoot! However, something amazing came from that day, and as I write this, it sends chills through my body remembering that pivotal moment in my life. At the event, they had a holiday wish list of things the shelter needed to care for the animals. I decided to bring over some newspapers and towels that weekend. I had never been to a shelter before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was thinking that maybe there would be a handful of dogs and cats who were lost.
Upon delivery of my items, I was asked if I would like a tour of the shelter. I didn’t know that tour would change my life forever. I saw hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful animals behind cage doors. Their eyes spoke to me, and I couldn’t get them out of my head. I had never known the seriousness of the homeless animal problem. I never did get them out of my head -- nor the eyes of any other innocent animal who is at the mercy of human beings. My heart was touched that day in a way I can’t explain. Since that day, my compassion and passion have grown, and continue to grow, every day.
Since 1994, I have been the Director of Education at the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I am very fortunate to have a job where I teach about what I love. The department has grown leaps and bounds and has blossomed into four wonderful staff members. Our school programs, camps, clubs, tours and partnerships range from basic animal care, cruelty, puppy mills, safety, compassion, kindness and pet overpopulation. Just recently, an environmental segment has been added to our animal newspaper, and a whole day of camp has been designated to the environment…thanks to IHE!
A couple of years ago I was longing for more, to learn more, to teach more, to give more back. I found the Institute of Humane Education and saw that they have a Master’s program. I looked into it, and after reading the program description, I found it was just what I needed. I knew that I was going to be a different person once I completed my degree. As I write this, I realize that decision was another pivotal moment in my life. I will never be the same. Because of IHE, I’m continually changing the way I live to be compassionate to animals, people and the environment. I continue to grow and change my programs as much as the Humane Society will allow me to in my position. I don’t know where life will take me, but I do know as a result of the decision to get my degree in humane education, I can feel in my bones that I’m going to make more of a difference than ever before.
Update as of April 2012:
…Since my graduation from IHE I continue to incorporate what I’ve learned into my daily life and into my career. I now compost and have planted fruit and herb trees through my yard. I also have expanded my teachings to incorporate all of the components of Humane Education. I have been promoted to Vice President of Education at the Humane Society of Broward County. Currently, I am trying to publish the children’s book I wrote, Sunny Side Up, as a result of my master's thesis. If I don’t find a publisher I plan to self-publish.
I highly recommend to anybody with a heart for this planet and all the creatures that inhabit it (including us) to consider getting this worthwhile degree. I’m so happy I did!
Learn more about Caroline's work at Broward County in this interview with IHE from 2009.
Like our blog? Please share it with others, comment, and/or subscribe to the RSS feed.
You have read this article animal protection / changemakers / compassion / environmental protection / graduate programs / humane education / humane societies / IHE graduates / Social Justice / teachers with the title March 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://actuosa-participatio.blogspot.com/2012/03/featured-ihe-graduate-caroline-crane.html. Thanks!