In the wake of research that has underscored the many ways that animals affect the lives of humans, several University of Denver graduate students will talk about the role pets play in the lives of children in a Thursday workshop in Aurora.
"Animals are seen as members of people's families." said Shanti Hill-Gauer, who will be among those speaking at Chuck & Don's pet food outlet in Aurora from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
"They can help babies develop social and motor skills. A dog's presence in a classroom can help children develop reading skills," Hill-Gauer said. "The dog is a calming influence and makes it easier for them to learn."
Hill-Gauer is part of a program at the DU graduate school of social work in which the students study the importance of human-animal connections.
Chuck & Don's has partnered with the program by offering space for students to make presentations. The pet food chain's CEO, Bob Hartzell, is a DU alum.
"Pets are really important in a child's life," Hill-Gauer said. "They teach them social skills, responsibility through caring for animals, and. problem-solving skills."
The goal of the workshop is to stress how "animals are part of human life," she added.
Part of the workshop will be interactive. Pets will be on hand to interact with participants. Chilren are invited.
The event is free and will be held at Abby's Pet Place, a community space inside Chuck & Don's Aurora. The store is located at 6380 S. Parker Road, Suite 107 Aurora.
Thanks for reading. If you would like to be notified about upcoming stories, click on the "subscribe" link above this article. It's free!