MENOMONIE WISCONSIN — Feet covered in green paint helped to create the body of an iguana in one of the cat socialization rooms at the Dunn County Humane Society.
In other socialization rooms, hands dipped in paint went on to create butterflies and cats in murals to dress up the rooms.
About two dozen or so students from the Sunshine Learning Center, a child care center, preschool and summer school for children ages 5 to 9, painted on three different murals Tuesday in three socialization rooms as part of a community service project.
The three murals are based on three cats that former Humane Society board President John Backhaus once owned. Backhaus was honored for making quite a large donation to help build the $130,000 addition, which opened about two months ago, said society executive director Josh Dalton.
Backhaus named each of the the rooms for three cats: Tigger, Alley and Rainbow.
The Alley room has a cityscape, the Tigger room has a jungle theme and the Rainbow room a large rainbow with flowers and trees.
“We wanted not only to honor a donor but have brighter rooms that would be more fun when families come in to meet the cats,” Dalton explained. “It gives the room a little bit of character and makes them more inviting to families.”
Jane Pierzina, w is the hoowner of Sunshine Learning Center, went on to say that the center incorporates learning about science, animals and community service as part of its summer programs.
“Children love to do artwork,” she stated “Pets and children have such a good connection. I really think it is an opportunity for them to educate their parents a little bit. They will be excited to bring their parents here and help their parents learn what the Humane Society does.”
Part of the project is to teach children to give back but also to help them understand an adopted pet becomes part of the family and adoption is a lifetime commitment, Pierzina stated.
Learning center staff sketched the murals, and then the children helped with the painting. Staff will return to put on the finishing touches on the murals, Pierzina stated.
“What an honor that we were able to come in and make it beautiful for the pets,” she stated.
One of the kid said he loved painting the murals.
“I think the cats are going to love it,” he exclaimed, noting the Tigger room is his favorite because of the iguanas and other animals pictured in it.
Another student, who will be a third-grader in the fall, said the Rainbow room is her personal favorite.
“I liked how we painted the rainbow with sponges,” she stated.
James said she hopes all of the visitors to the Humane Society will appreciate the work the students did and enjoy the murals.
About 100 cats are currently available for adoption that there Humane Society.