4 ways Rescue Ranch can teach your child compassion for animals

Rescue Ranch founder Krissie Newman teaches children how to be a more responsible and successful pet owner.
Rescue Ranch founder Krissie Newman teaches children how to be a more responsible and successful pet owner.

According to Oxford Lafayette Humane Society, 70 percent of people who acquire animals end up giving them away, abandoning them, or taking them to shelters. After years of working and visiting with several animal nonprofits and meeting a young animal lover at Martinsville Speedway, we realized the key to preventing pet overpopulation and its associated sufferings was through animal education. So in 2012, my husband, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman and I founded Rescue Ranch.

With our team of rabbits, birds, bearded dragons, prairie dogs, tortoises, snakes, miniature horses, fainting goats, steer and more we offer a variety of activities to provide direction and instruction in animal behavior and habitats, the importance of rescue, adoption of animals and responsible pet ownership.

To help introduce families to animal education, Rescue Ranch offers 4 programs for children of all ages:

Group Education: The ranch is a great choice for school field trips, Boy or Girl Scout groups or birthday parties. Based on common core standards, programs are developed by a licensed teacher to offer hands-on animal encounters and interactive activities for students lasting around two hours.

Beginnger Buddies: If you have a preschooler between 1 and 5-years-old, consider joining us for Beginner Buddies which includes story time, crafts and one-on-one time with an animal each Tuesday.

Homeschool Club: The Rescue Ranch Homeschool Club is a program designed specifically for children in kindergarten through 6th grade that are homeschooled. Through a variety of activities and hands-on science exploration, students learn science, reading, writing and math integration.

Critter Camp: Each summer, Rescue Ranch offers “Critter Camps” to children in preschool through eighth grade. The weeklong camp sessions provide up-close educational experiences and build upon a child’s interest for animals with fur, feathers or scales. The animal experiences, crafts, games and activities are excellent opportunities to let your feathers fly with animal fun.

It’s important for people to educate themselves on animals and associated care before bringing them into their families. Puppies will get big, vet bills can be expensive and some birds and reptiles can outlive their owners. Knowing these things ahead of time allows you to choose the correct animal for your family and creates a more responsible and successful pet owner and that’s why the goal of our 87-acre facility in Statesville is to introduce guests to humane education, while teaching them compassion and respect for animals and their environments as well as skills and suggestions for living peacefully with them.

Join Rescue Ranch and our more than 60 Animal Education Ambassadors as we celebrate the value animals bring to our lives and the importance of caring for them properly. For more information on Rescue Ranch and its many programs, visit or Facebook.