Innovative New App Teaches Kids the Joys and Responsibilities of Pet Care

(PRWEB) April 05, 2013

Can a mobile app help save the lives of puppies by educating, encouraging adoption, and teaching children values such as compassion, respect, responsibility, and empathy?

The folks at Startled Cat, Inc. – a studio for immersive storytelling – and the Wake County SPCA think so.

Dubbed CritterKin, this ground-breaking app will be launched on Kickstarter in late April 2013 with the goal of raising the final funds required to pay for the coders, animators and programmers who will make it all run on smart phones and tablets. Puppy lovers everywhere will have the chance to not only help fund the app’s development, but receive copies of the first class CritterKin artwork as well.

“CritterKin is a mash-up that combines the word ‘critter’ – meaning living creatures – and ‘kin’ – meaning family,” says Jena Ball, the artist and storyteller behind the CritterKin project. “I based the CritterKin characters and stories on my own experiences as a kid, but with a fun twist. I wanted to teach empathy and understanding by telling the CritterKin stories through the eyes of the puppies. When you see the world through their eyes and noses, it becomes a very different and often funny place. In the CritterKin app, kids will learn with their puppies – gathering information and sharing their adventures.”

“Working with parents, teachers, rescue organizations, and shelters, the CritterKin app will use smart phones and tablets to help children grow and learn valuable life lessons,” says Martin Keltz, Emmy award winning producer of the Magic School Bus and co-founder of Startled Cat. “Pet adoption and responsible pet care open children’s minds and hearts to a respect for all living creatures, and just as importantly to the planet we must all preserve and share.”

The CritterKin app targets children between the ages of 6 and 10. Kids log into CritterKin to complete daily chores, games, puzzles and other interactive activities designed to teach them about caring for a puppy. Children who successfully complete the program receive a digital certificate of completion. Though the initial app will feature puppies, plans are already in the works to create versions for cat, bird, and horse lovers as well.

CritterKin is the brainchild of Jena Ball, Martin J. Keltz and Doug Thompson. Together they form Startled Cat, Inc. – a team of world class storytellers whose goal is to use narratives told on new media platforms to educate kids, inspire adults, and foster positive change.

Startled Cat has already produced the CritterKin artwork, characters, stories and curriculum, and enlisted the support of the SPCA of Wake County, North Carolina. The SPCA is known for its innovative approach to community outreach and for its commitment to education. Thanks to input from Vanessa Budnick, the SPCA’s Humane Educator, the CritterKin curriculum is not only entertaining and fun, but educational as well.

For more about CritterKin, visit our website or read some of our CritterKin stories.

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