“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.”
—His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Founder / President and teaching duo at Metropolitan Ministries
Kim Skrovanek is the Founder/President of Humane Education Connection, a non-profit who brings healing to abused animals and children through its Canines Helping Kids in Crisis program. Ms. Skrovanek always knew her life’s work would involve animals. As a young child she brought home every injured animal to be nursed back to health. But hurt animals were not her only focus. If she met someone at school who was having a hard time she would ask her parents if that student could stay with them. It is a perfect marriage of passions that inspired Ms. Skrovanek to start her non-profit approximately three years ago. Her passion and a chance meeting with Joan Marzi ensured animals and children alike would live in a kinder world.
Ms. Marzi introduced Kim to Humane Education and Kim was impassioned to work with Canines Helping Kids in Crisis. While Kim has been participating in Canines Helping Kids in Crisis for ten years, three years ago, Kim took her program to a new level when she founded Humane Education Connection. Using rescue canine’s Kim and her teachers go into shelters where children who have suffered abuse and neglect are staying. The kids can relate to the rescue animals and moving lessons in forgiveness and goodness are taught, mostly using Kim’s Aussie rescue Olivia. Imagine a child looking into Olivia’s eyes knowing that Olivia had a similar situation as them; hurt at the hands of those she once trusted. There is a link between animal and child abuse. There was even an instance where a child who had been mute since her admission to the shelter spoke for the first time when she saw Kim and her dogs.
Humane Education Connection helps not only the children, but also helps to break the cycle of abuse and future animal abuse. Ms. Skrovanek has made a positive impact on all living things and her work will have an impact in the future.
Teaching Duo at Homeless Emergency Project
In 1998, Clementine (my dog at that time) and I began pet therapy by visiting my Mother during her stay in a nursing home. I soon learned to leave much earlier than was expected, in order to visit with other residents along the way – Clem was quite the social gal. After Clem passed in 2006, there was a deep loss for everyone. In 2010, upon retiring from a career in social services, my goal was to return to companion pet therapy work in the arena of social services. The need there for trust, love and caring is so great. But I needed a new dog. After meeting several dogs, Marley was the one for me. Weighing in at 137 but already well trained, I wasn’t sure about his size; though it seems as though Marley’s “bulk” works for him since 5-7 youngsters can all hug him at once. Marley is in his glory.
Marley and I have worked for the school system where 5th graders read to him, visited women’s abuse shelters and continue to do weekly visits at a local hospital. We are the teaching duo for the children at the Homeless Emergency Project’s afterschool program with Humane Education Connection’s, Canines Helping Kids in Crisis program. There is no doubt Marley has touched many lives and has facilitated that level of trust, love and understanding to those in need.
Lakeland, FL Director & Treasurer