Pros: Various educational and informative programming for the entire family.
Cons: Deals with various animal issues including death and pain.
I recently had the opportunity to sit with several children who were under my protective custody. There was a five-year-old girl and a nine and ten year old boy. All three siblings and I were in a special room designed by the court for them to wait in while their trial was in progress.
The room known as the playroom is fairly comfortable with various toys and cable TV mounted in the wall. Their trial was scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.; I arrived 15 minutes early so I could get the children situated. When the children saw the TV they screamed ?could we watch cartoons??
When I held the remote control and began channel surfing, subconsciously I wanted to find programming that would be suitable and appropriate for children. I found a channel named ?Animal Planet? this channel is dedicated totally to animals and anyone who loves them. The children and I began watching a show titled, ?The Planets Funniest Animal?s?.
This show is extremely funny yet educative; illuminating our faces with laughter. One particular scene had an elephant falling down in front of a painted picture next the host of the show asked, ?What do pelicans perch on, guys on raft?s?? Yes, believe it or not I saw a pelican perched on a guy on a raft. The Planets Funniest Animals captivated my young audience.
The next show that came on was Judge Joseph A. Wapner?s Animal Court. If you have ever seen the TV show ?Peoples Court? then you can easily understand ?Animal Court?, which features real animals and people going before a judge in court.
There were two trials one about an Ostrich another one about a Dog and one about a Horse. This was perfect timing, while I explained to the children why they had to go to court. The Juvenile Court is a significant part of the child protective services network.
When a child is placed into care as the result of the filing of a deprivation complaint there must be an informal hearing with 72 hours of the filing of the complaint allowing the court to determine whether there is ?reasonable cause to believe that the allegations of the complaint are true?.
The judge may hear testimony from the children or view their injuries. After the children watched ?Animal Court? they gained a broader perspective of the court proceedings which appeared to sooth their anxiety and discomfort.
After the 72-hour hearing was over the children were sad and disappointed. The Juvenile Court ordered temporary custody to the Department of Human Resources after the children were determined deprived. Although the children wanted to return home their parent?s actions put them at imminent risk of serious abuse.
As the four of us walked down the corridor and returned to the playroom before I got to the door they screamed, ?Can we watch that animal show again?? The children seemed to show a lot of interest in Animal Planet. It would appear that the shows had peeked their interest. They began asking me so many questions about animals it was as if the wild animals drove out the sad reality of them not being able to go back home.
When I turned the TV on to Animal Planet the show Animal Planet Zooventure was on. This show features Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald a veterinarian who saves animal with his medical expertise.
The episode we watched was the one where the young man brings in the stray kitten with a broken jaw. The veterinarian plastered a new jaw for the kitty and wired it shut, with the fragile kitten sticking out it?s little tongue.
The way Dr. Fitzgerald cared for this cat was amazing and yet sad at the same time. The young man that brought the cat in for care ended up taking the stray kitty home. I had a lump at the back of my throat as I looked at the 3 children, I really wanted to take them home.
I?m not sure why this reminded me of an old Lassie show. As an adult most of the shows that I have viewed seem a bit risque for children. However, I must say that after surfing the airways looking for appropriate children shows I am extremely impressed with Animal Planet's programming. I am pleased to see informative educational thought provoking and original programming geared toward children of all ages.
I?m in court almost everyday, and when I get a chance to go to the play room I always tune into Animal Planet looking for that episode with the kitten who was rescued. With all the absurdity which beleaguers the television today, it is a blessing to see a magnificent channel like this one.
With all the trash which plagues the television this day and age, it is a blessing to see a great channel like this one.
P.S. If you would like to read more about Animal Planet check out Dhano923, Kittyokc, BryRrose, bonniesayers, opinions on Animal Planet as Tony the Tiger say's "There GREAT!"