Special to the Register & Bee

The Danville Area Humane Society announced this week a new partnership with the Danville Police Department to provide a shelter experience for children, ages 5 to 12.

The first Cops and Critters will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. July 24.

“Since we operate the city animal shelter, we have always had a close working relationship with everyone in the Danville Police Department,” Paulette Dean, executive director of humane society, said. “They have provided protection for us, but we are also gratified by the compassion exhibited by each one who serves in any capacity in that department. They are true heroes for the animals.”

Sergeant Nicole Jeffries, with the Community and Youth Engagement Unit, said, “The Danville Police Department is excited to partner with the Danville Area Humane Society as we work together to protect all things, great and small.”

The Danville Area Humane Society and Danville Police Department have dealt with hundreds of cruelty cases and thousands of neglect cases through the years. Several have been because of the actions of children or youth.

“Empathy for animals can be developed through positive interaction and it is our hope that through a Cops and Critters experience, children and youth can learn more about how to respect and care for animals,” Dean said.

Each participant in the Cops and Critters event will receive a T-shirt, provided by The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region.

Cops and Critters will be a hands-on experience. There will be a mini-class on the care of companion animals, presented by Dr. Laura Luffman, of Animal Medical Center. The children will help the police officers in bathing puppies, walking dogs and playing with kittens and cats.

Parents may request a registration form for this event by emailing dahsinc@yahoo.com or by calling 799-5036. Participants should not have allergies to any animals.