Third-graders, inspired by local pet rescue, write a play

The authors, directors, and stars of “Helping Homeless Pets: A Play in Four Parts.”

Third-grade students at Chautauqua Elementary School will present “Helping Homeless Pets, A Play in Four Parts,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Vashon Center for the Arts. A bake sale will precede the event.

The kids wrote the play after teacher Margie Butcher invited representatives of regional and local animal welfare nonprofits to talk to the students about their organizations. The presentations were part of Butcher’s Action Network curriculum, which has the motto “A small voice can change the world.”

Speakers included representatives of Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP), Haven Rescue, Sayulita Animals, Emerald City Pet Rescue, Rainier Animal Fund and the Washington State Animal Health Foundation, the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, animal behavior consultants and a small animal massage therapist.

The students were inspired by all the presentations, Butcher said, but then decided to focus on creating a play to raise money and awareness for VIPP. Their play has four chapters: “Adopting Amazing Animals,” “Feeling Like Fostering,” “Lost Puggie,” and “Stop, Watch and Wait.” Its stars? The third graders, of course.

VIPP, established in 1984, is a nonprofit no-kill animal rescue organization. Working with a small but dedicated army of local volunteers and foster families, VIPP provides shelter, food, and medical care to lost, abandoned, or relinquished dogs and cats who are waiting for loving and forever new homes.

Tickets to the play are $15, but no one will be turned away. Pet food donations to help VIPP’s No Hungry Pets program are also welcome, with Pandora’s Box pet supply store offering special deals to anyone who wants to make a food donation.

Buy tickets in advance at or Vashon Center for the Arts on the night of the event.