A fairy “tail” ending awaits a Princeby Pima County News on Apr. 01, 2013, under Health, Pima Animal Care Center, Pima County, Southern Arizona
A handful of Rio Vista Elementary School students were enjoying time at nearby Limberlost Park while on spring break when they found the lost Boxer mix.
Concerned, they called Pima Animal Care Center and waited with the dog, hugging him and petting him, until an officer came to take him to the shelter. The first day back at school, they shared the story and their cell phone videos with their reading tutor, Cindy Hayden.
“The kids were very protective of him and did the right thing by making sure he was taken care of,” Hayden said. The class tracked his progress on the shelter website, waiting to see if his owner would redeem him. When no one did, Hayden started trying to find a home for him.
It turns out kindergarten teacher Kellie Walsh was ready for another pet, after her Boxer passed away last year.
Walsh, a teacher for about a decade, said she was touched by Prince’s story and the commitment of the children. Since going home with her Thursday, and getting a bath and some love, the rather aptly named and regal 6-year-old is getting to know her extended family. “He’s a very sweet dog,” she said.
He’ll almost certainly be greeted as a hero when he visits his student rescuers later in the school year, but in the interim, he’s inspiring some of the curriculum. Walsh told her story Monday morning to inspire her writing session with the students, while Hayden’s students will be writing a storybook about the Dog Prince, chronicling his adventures, and potentially entering the work in a writing contest.
“These students are a great example of how we all have a role to play in making a difference for animals in this community,” said Kim Janes, Manager of Pima Animal Care Center. “It’s going to take working together to make sure all animals have loving homes and we’re confident Prince will live happily ever after with his new family.”