{Take Action Tuesday} Animal Welfare in School Curriculum

“Children are great imitators.  So give them something great to imitate.” – Anonymous

I have said, time and again, that the way to actually get to the root of the pet overpopulation problem is through education.  I firmly believe that every single life saved is invaluable and deserving, but for every one saved, there are countless ones currently suffering at the hands of abuse, living in shelters or on chains, and being euthanized.  Imagine a day when there was no need for rescue work at all?  A day that shelters merely existed to house dogs that got loose until their owners could be reunited with them?  A day when the saddest story we read was of a beloved pet that came down with an illness?  If we are ever going to get to that day, it will be through education.

Happy black lab

I truly believe that children are our future.  Which is what makes this petition SO exciting to me:

“The mission for Animal Welfare in the school curriculum is to educate and explore the history and meaning of our animal kinship and foster a life-long commitment to animals. Our mission is also to alleviate the suffering of all animals. A classroom presentation program should exist to give the students hands-on learning experience of rescued animals. This will encourage kindness and empathy for both human and nonhuman animals and promotes understanding of our many diverse habitats.                                                                              Field trips to an Animal Shelter and an Animal Rescue should also be a part of this program. It is a powerful experience. Sharing the love of animals also includes awareness of animal overpopulation and the reason for neutering and spaying. Most importantly, humane education strives to establish a sense of responsibility, making the world a better, more humane place. Our children ARE the future.  To end I would like to Thank all of you who sign and share this, and may God bless you all.”

Penny the cat

Imagine the implications of a program like this!  Children that ask their parents for a puppy specifically from the shelter.  Children that ask their parents why Fido has to live on the chain in the yard and can’t come inside.  Children that scold their older sibling when they see them throw rocks at a dog.  Children that become more aware of the world around them.  Rescues currently in existence could begin to focus their efforts on educating low-income areas.  Or helping concerned pet owners with behavioral issues learn how to train their dogs to keep them in their homes and out of shelters.  Government funded animal controls could begin spending their budget on low cost spay and neuter clinics instead.  The potential domino effect is as large as our imaginations allow it to be.

Apollo the cat

 To the handful of people that I know will say something like, “But children should not be exposed to suffering!”  I call bulh$#*t.  You need to toughen up, and so do your kids.  There is a big world out there and by sheltering children the way parents do these days, you are doing them exactly zero favors.  Just because a child plays a sport does not mean he should automatically win a medal.  Just because a child does not like his teacher does not mean you should swoop in and demand they be moved to a new classroom.  Just because a child might come home saddened because they learned that there are homeless pets does not mean you should deprive them of this life lesson.  By learning to lose, work through a tough situation, and that there is in fact suffering in the world children might just begin to work harder, embrace compromise, and best of all, gain empathy for those around them.  And imagine what a beautiful world that would lead to.

Maggie the rescue

If are in agreement, please click here to sign the petition.  The petition currently has less 1/5 of the necessary signatures.  I also ask that if you are in agreement with this message, you hit that “share” button as well and let’s get this out there for more people to see!  Thank you and Take Action!  

  

6 thoughts on “{Take Action Tuesday} Animal Welfare in School Curriculum

  1. Great post, I’ll be signing that petition. Humane Education is so very important these days. I was really surprised when I went into schools and quite a few of the children didn’t really know that much about handling dogs, approaching them or were just plain afraid of them.

  2. A brilliant post, very true! I have to agree that everybody should be taught to treat all living things with respect. I also think this ‘everyone should win a medal’ idea is not only wrong, but does nothing to prepare children for the real world – we don’t all get the job? Surely children should be introduced to these things in a safe place from an early age?!

  3. Do you know that some rescues (I wanna say Bad Rap and Jasmine’s house?) are totally on board with your train of thought? They have programs where they bring recovering dogfighting victims into inner city schools (ie targeting the future generation of potential dog fighters) to explain the implications of this crime. Their results are fascinating! Seriously, look it up. The quotes they share from children are heart breaking but also amazing. Some of the kids talk about how they didn’t even know animals had feelings or could feel pain 😦 Heartbreaking, but how awesome that they were able to make such an impact?! Maybe something to add to your rescue goals? 😉

    • I did know, and you better believe it’s been at the top of my list for a long time! I think I need to establish a little bit of a presence for myself first, but you can bet this is something I fully intend to try and implement here! Plus, I really want to do outreach and go to low income areas and offer assistance. I think if you approach people in a friendly manner and offer some help, it really creates much more receptive feelings on their end. So much to do, so little time!

      • I just love when rescues and shelters address more than just animal overpopulation (also a worthy and necessary topic!) but the community problems that necessitate them. And I also agree that we need to stop “protecting our dogs to death” and recognize that someone of lower income or who lives in a way that may be deemed below average, can still make a phenomenal pet owner! Let’s help keep happy dogs out of shelters and with the owners who love them, even if that means spending money on education or financial assistance.

      • Eeeexactly! Rescuing one dog at a time is like picking up one pine needle from the middle of a forest. Sure, every single one matters, but by “just” doing that, you really aren’t ever going to change things. This is why I was so excited when I was able to help that girl keep her dog. She loved him dearly and he would have had almost no hope in a shelter so it just made sense to keep him there!

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