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PHS playroom a hit with children
June 30, 2012, 05:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

Bill Silverfarb/Daily Journal Shannon Abbott and Sara Saunders use a lightbox to examine X-rays at the new Humane House at the Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion in Burlingame Tuesday.

Children on the Peninsula have a cool new playroom where they can feel firsthand what it’s like to be veterinarian, sniff exciting animal smells and learn how to use a microchip scanner.

The Peninsula Humane Society opened its new Humane House Saturday and children participating in day camps at the Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion on Rollins Road in Burlingame this week have already made it their own.

Scott Delucchi, PHS’s vice president and outreach coordinator, held a soft launch of the new playroom last Thursday.

He learned that "anything not bolted down will be moved, kicked and thrown” and that some of the parents will even join in.

Tuesday, he watched over a group of about 10 children who got their first chance to explore the 400-square-foot playroom.

They got to don a vet’s white lab coat and other uniforms, use a wall-mounted lightbox to view X-rays of animals treated by the staff at PHS and enjoy the Humane House’s Sniff Zone.

There is even a kitty litter box right next to the Sniff Zone that doubles as a game. Children can sift through the box with a scooper to find five hidden items.

There is also a stuffed toy cocker spaniel named Joe that children can use a mounted microchip scanner to check for its identity.

When asked, most of the children who visited the Humane House said that careers as veterinarians were in their futures.

"We’ve learned lots about different species,” said Jenna Williamson. She is working on making a poster this week to highlight the things she has learned at daycamp in a presentation at the end of the week.

Her presentation will be on bunnies.

They have learned about rats, parrots, turtles and have had some dog-training classes, said Shannon Abbott, 11.

Abbott and Sara Saunders, 10, used the lightbox to check out some X-rays. They looked intently at one X-ray of a crow that had some bullet fragments removed from it by PHS staff.

The crow made a full recovery, they learned.

They have also learned that animals have rights, said Lauoen Shannon, who said she will one day volunteer for PHS.

The Humane House is open the same hours PHS is open for adoptions from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. It is located on the second floor at 1450 Rollins Road.

Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.

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