Animals and Children

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children and animals

Introducing Children to animals

There is an increasing groundswell of opinion that strongly believes that introducing children to animals at a very early age can significantly reduce the incidence of animal cruelty.

Education is key!

Children who learn about animals, become attached to animals, who see them as beings with feelings are less likely to abuse animals.

Education, experience with animals and a focus on prevention are our best weapons in the fight against animal abuse.

Why does volunteering work so well?

Volunteering in animal welfare organizations, such as shelters, helps children develop lifelong empathy skills and learn the value of compassion toward all living beings.

According to the National PTA Congress, kids trained to extend justice, kindness and mercy to animals through volunteering at animal welfare organizations become more just, kind and considerate to animals, and even to other children.

Through bringing children into animal shelters, we teach them that animals need their care, love and attention, and that it is unacceptable to hurt these animals.

It is the humane and moral response to the problem of animal abuse for those of us who work in shelters to provide some supervised and structured volunteer opportunities and programs for kids.

Teaching

Teaching kids to have compassion and empathy for animals is a critical step in preventing cruelty to animals, and this happens with direct exposure and supervised contact with animals.

According to the National PTA Congress, kids trained to extend justice, kindness and mercy to animals through volunteering at animal welfare organizations become more just, kind and considerate to animals, and even to other children.

Kids use their interactions with animals to learn to respect and protect animals.

This helps kids to value animals, which, in turn, prevents them from acting out their frustrations on vulnerable animals and/or growing up to be animal abusers.

It is important for animal welfare organizations and shelters to provide volunteer opportunities, on-site programs and avenues for community service to facilitate the development of empathy and compassion for animals in children.

By: Dr. Rachel S. Geller, Ed.D.

Certified Humane Education Specialist & Cat Behaviour Counsellor
Author, Act Protecting Nursing Home Residents www.sallys-law.org
Board Vice President, Gifford Cat Shelter www.giffordcatshelter.org

What do you think?

Would you like to see such initiatives in your area?

What structure would they take?

How would they be funded?

References

Kids and animals

 

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