Kids at a preschool in Amsterdam learned some valuable lessons before heading off for Christmas break. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, local organizations joined forces to send a serious message in a not-so-serious way.
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- "They really get excited when they see the dogs, the cats come in. It's a fun time for them," said Marie Woodman, Director of Littlest Angels Preschool.
It's the 17th year in a row local organizations have come together to teach preschoolers important lessons, with help from some furry friends.
"We come every year with the canines, teach the kids about drugs, stranger safety and just general safety," said Amsterdam Police Officer Stephen Pasquarelli.
Visitors included reptiles, exotic cats and even a 12-week-old Dalmatian looking for someone to love.
"This little guy's looking for a home for Christmas. He's in no way special needs, but he's special in his own way," said Animal Rescue volunteer Sherri Crouse.
"My favorite one was the turtle because he can walk," said one preschooler.
And keeping with the spirit of giving, the kids have been collecting gifts to give to a local shelter just in time for the holiday.
Woodman said, "In December, we've collected toys, blankets, dog food, cat food, kitty litter."
"Never too young to start teaching how to handle animals, what to do if you find an animal and they're willing to learn," said Crouse.