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Our Team

Kids 4 Critters, Inc., is a non-profit organization teaching responsible pet ownership to fourth graders. We are a diverse group of dedicated volunteers and many of us are former teachers. One thing we share is a deep love of animals and working with kids.   In our team we care for a plethora of animals! We would love to have you join us. Fill in our Contact Us form.


We teach a six (6), consecutive week program (one day a week) to fourth graders. Our lessons may be 45 - 60 minutes.  We are also adapting to teaching online. The Kids 4 Critters lessons are interdisciplinary in that, while students learn our content, they also advance in social studies, science, math, writing, reading and comprehension, the arts, and more. We have also interwoven technology in our lessons. Our lessons involve students actively and include many hands-on activities. Our goal is to nurture students to be future leaders, good citizens who recognize and practice empathy, and who will serve our community.


Teachers may see a full description of how our program meets the NC Curriculum Standards by going to our Teacher Resources on our website. To access Teacher Resources, one must register on our site. We do not ask for anything except the name and email of person requesting access. Each year we proudly display the strongest essays at the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) as teaching tools for the public.


We work in partnership with the WCAC as we strongly believe the problems of overpopulation and the promotion of responsible pet ownership are community issues which must be resolved by all of us working together. Our volunteers strive to prepare the next generation of pet lovers who will teach others. Review the Program Benefits for more on what our program offers.


Most importantly, we believe that kids “R” the key to improving the situation of many animals in our community.   When kids learn to REFLECT upon the condition of animals, to RESPOND to their needs, and to RESPECT animals, they will recognize the great REWARDS of pet ownership.


We launched our pilot program in 2015 at Northwoods Elementary in Cary. Our group functioned with a Steering Committee with the original members: Judy Austin, Gail Coles, Dr. Jennifer L. Federico, DVM, Dawn Friedel, Linda Pattison (Chair), and Aileen Randall.  Thanks are in order to the Northwoods PTA for sponsoring our program in the early years. We have grown and enhanced our program, in large part, thanks to generous grant support from the NC Veterinary Medical Association and, very, very importantly, our many committed and talented volunteers who believe in our program.

​In March 2020, Kids 4 Critters, Inc., was approved by the IRS as a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) public charity organization. We now have a Board of Directors:  Linda Pattison (President and Secretary);  Dawn Friedel (Vice-President and Treasurer);  Dr. Jennifer L. Federico, Veterinary Consultant;  and Judy Austin, Special Projects Coordinator.


If you would like to invite us to teach at your school OR become involved in our program, please contact us!   We would love to talk with you about what we do!

Image (from left to right): Jenn, Gail, Aileen, Judy, Dawn, and Linda

Image (from left to right): Jenn, Gail, Aileen, Judy, Dawn, and Linda
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