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Rice Table Has Animals at Heart

THE Asociación Humanitaria para Protección Animal (AHPPA), a voluteer animal welfare association, held its annual Rijstaffel (Rice Table) Sunday, Feb. 29, at Penny Santomenno’s home. More than $7,000 were raised. Half the proceeds will go to the association’s no-cost/low-cost sterilization program and the other half will support the AHPPA Animal Welfare Educational Project.

The association is growing, and representatives say it is time to expand efforts into educational programs to increase public awareness about animal welfare.

Education and sterilization programs are the two most important means to prevent the further suffering of animals.

Plans are to build a small school on the premises of AHPPA in San Rafael de Heredia this year, where 20 – 25 children will attend daily to learn about animal welfare and how it relates to a healthy and civilized society. Night classes will also be offered for adults. Two retired Costa Rican teachers will volunteer their time.

All students will meet the shelter animals. They will learn that pets have basic needs, such as daily food, shelter, water and attention. They will also learn the importance of animal sterilization.

AHPPA has organized a May 17 conference at the Marriott Hotel, northwest of San José, that will introduce the Humane Society’s First Strike Campaign to supreme court justices, family court judges and other people of authority.

The campaign is based on a study done in the United States that shows the correlation between youths who torture and abuse animals and adults who abuse humans, usually family members. It demonstrates that animal abuse is an early indicator of a highly troubled child and needs to be taken seriously and stopped on the “first strike.”

AHPPA is looking for another volunteer who can commit five to 10 hours a month and has experience with writing skills and/or public relations. The association needs help with promoting the educational programs and fundraising, its only means of financial support.

For more info, call Lilian Schnog at 267-7158 or 267-6374. For donations, you may send a check in dollars or colones to AHPPA/Aptdo 73-3000/Heredia de Costa Rica.



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