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Paws for Peace

Our mission is to help prevent bullying before it starts by promoting empathy, tolerance and compassion through humane education.  We reach children in three ways.  We offer M.S.D.E. approved core of knowledge teacher training, parent education workshops and direct classroom instruction. We are currently offering outdoor instruction at Barking Holler Animal Sanctuary doing field trips, birthday parties and week-long summer camps for K-3 children.  For more information check out or email Caryn at

Approval # CKO-6465

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Barking Holler Animal Sanctuary has joined forces with Paws for Peace, LLC to help add in the element of humane education for children.   Both organizations have a love for animals and a strong belief that we can make a difference in the world by teaching prosocial skills through animals and their stories.  Education is the key to awareness and to reducing the fear factor, which can stop us from welcoming new ideas into our lives.  When children can identify and empathize with another living thing, they can begin to see the world through another's eyes.  Empathy, tolerance and acceptance of others will help build a kinder world for all living things will exist.  

Meet Caryn: Caryn Reitkopp always knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was growing up.  She had a chalkboard, worksheets from her mom’s classroom and all her stuffed animals lined up for their daily lessons in her bedroom.  It was a career she came by naturally, as well as her love for animals.  Her parents fostered her love for living things by allowing her to have different kinds of pets; planting a garden in the backyard and having her grandfather live with them after his wife died so he wouldn’t be lonely. Their house never had less than 2 dogs in it.  You could usually find a rescued baby bird or bunny, gerbils, chameleons and fish there too.  Animals were treated like part of the family.  


Caryn went on to work in various settings throughout her career in education over the past 30 years.  These ranged from camps, preschools, private schools, nonprofit organizations, charter schools and public schools.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis on Curriculum and Design.  Her teaching certification is in Early Childhood.

Caryn currently lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband Matt, twins Ethan and Sam (13 years old), 3 dogs- Ollie, Peanut and Ruffles and her son's ferret Archie.   She writes and conducts workshops, camps and field trips through Paws for Peace, LLC.  She also teaches Kindergarten at Westbrook Elementary School, Continuing Education classes at Trinity College, is a certified trainer for Maryland State Department of Education.  Most recently, she has begun volunteering weekly at Barking Holler Animal Sanctuary.  Her favorite things to do are go to the beach, snuggle with her kids and dogs to watch movies on a rainy day and feed the animals at Barking Holler Animal Sanctuary.

Caryn and Rudy have been friends for over 25 years.  Not only has Caryn adopted multiple pets from Rudy through the years, she has been a Barker's Grub client and tried out many of the recipes from her Barker's Grub cookbook.  They have finally found a way to merge their passion for animals and educating the public about the importance of having empathy and compassion for all living things.  

Caryn, through Paws for Peace, LLC, will help organize and arrange the private tours at Barking Holler to help raise funds for the Sanctuary.  

More information can be found at

Remember, kindness really does count! :) 

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