About the Ruff Start Rescue Education Department
Ruff Start Rescue was founded with the intention of not only rescuing animals but also educating the general public about animal welfare and advocacy! Our belief in the power of education is so strongly rooted in our organization that we have had the word “educate” in our overall mission statement since day one. This sets us apart from most other rescues throughout the state of Minnesota who focus solely on the animal aspect of rescue while neglecting the human one.
The reason we advocate so strongly for education is our belief that educating the masses is a necessary and highly effective way to help produce responsible guardians of companion animals, ultimately leading to a decrease in abandoned and mistreated pets. As such, the rescue has created an Education Department whose primary focus is to spread the word and teach various audiences the importance of this mindset. To most effectively communicate this mission, our Education Department has different extensions, each focusing on key areas to help educate and influence people of all ages to believe in animal welfare and advocacy.
RSR’s education program was initially established in 2013 with the mission “to help children and young adults become responsible, compassionate, and empathetic pet owners by educating them on pet care, adoption, and safety.” While the means in which we communicate our mission have grown along with our rescue over the years, our mission remains the same.
Since the inception of our education program, our message has reached more than 5,000 individuals throughout the entire state of Minnesota.
The Ruff Start Rescue Education Committee
Our Education Committee is responsible for the coordination and presentation of our mission. Consisting of volunteers who meet once a month at our office in Princeton, MN, our Education Committee creates and coordinates all events, reviews feedback of recent visits, and brainstorms ideas to increase the impact of our message(s) in the future. New members are always welcome at any time! If you are interested in joining our committee and helping us spread our message, please email
Ruff Start’s Education Program has always sought to influence and educate younger generations in hopes the future of animal welfare sees fewer homeless pets and more responsible pet owners than in the past. It also focuses on adoption through rescue programs rather than shopping in pet stores as well as the importance of spaying and neutering animals to help reduce unwanted pet populations.
Since 2013, the Education Committee has presented to a myriad of audiences, including elementary through high school aged students, daycares, scout troops, and senior citizens. When possible, presentations include two rescue representatives (a presenter and a facilitator); Ruff Start Rescue’s (costumed) mascot, Ruff; and a rescued pet or two. Goodie bags and visual aids are also handed out with the intention of continuing to share and advocate.
Presentations can be catered to specific groups in terms of both timing and content and should be scheduled in advance to ensure proper volunteer participation. To inquire about our presentations or schedule one for your event, please email
Jr. Volunteer Events (Day Camps)
Each quarter, our Education Committee hosts a “day camp” designed to encourage children and their families to volunteer their time and talents to our animals! Day camps focus on creating arts and crafts that benefit animals in our care as well as serve as an opportunity to educate and discuss various animal welfare topics with youth and their families. Previous projects we’ve worked on during day camps include:
Fleece tie blankets for the animals
Dog and Cat Toys & beds
Feral cat houses
Day camps are announced publicly on our Facebook page and require sign-up to participate. We will also send out an email. For more information, email
to get added to the email list.
Corporate Educational Opportunities
While our mission focuses heavily on educating young children about animal welfare and enrichment, opportunities for adults exist as well! Corporate entities and businesses who are interested in learning more about the rescue or would like to create items for the animals in our care are encouraged to reach out to our committee via email at
Business Expos & Community Outreach
Community outreach is one of Ruff Start’s initiatives and there’s no better way to bring attention to our cause by attending events in our community! In a typical “expo” setting, volunteers will set up a booth and educate people about the rescue and the good work we do. Volunteers also work to recruit more members for the education committee, making it easier for us to expand our reach and present to more people throughout the state of Minnesota.
Our Education Department is constantly growing and new members and ideas are always welcome. Please email
if you are interested in helping or becoming a volunteer!