Animal Awareness: Teaching Tomorrow’s Community Today

22 10 2010

Some mistakenly believe that Humane Education is only for those in the animal rescue community and, more specifically, for adults only. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While different methods of teaching need to be used, there is no limit for how young a child can be teach them how to be kind to animals and how to be a responsible pet owner. Some children are very young when they have their first pet – albeit a goldfish or a hamster – but it’s still a pet, nonetheless. How many times after their pet goldfish has died, have we heard a child say “Oh, I guess I forgot to feed it.”

Some of you reading this may be thinking, “How does a child know not to be kind to animals?” Sadly, many children who ARE unkind to animals, have learned by watching an adult. They may see it on television, at their friends’ homes or even in their own homes. Teasing animals, or disregarding the animal’s feelings in some other manner can often times lead to animal cruelty.

One woman has come up with a fun and unique way to teach children as young as eight years old about being kind to animals. Carianne Burnley, of Ohio, used her marketing and business savvy and combined it with her animal rescue experience to come up with a unique game: Fur-Ever Home, The Animal Rescue Game. The game play is simple and revolves around rescue groups and shelters workign together to help the stray animals of the fictional “Straytown.” The game provides a way to teach children about animal rescue AND a portion of the game price goes right back to the animal community.

This game is but one way of many to teach children the importance of treating animals kindly:

  • Teach by example. The mind of a child is very much like a sponge – they absorb everything around them.  One of the best ways to teach a child to be kind, is for you, yourself, to be kind. Be kind to your animals. When they are old enough, take them to your local animal shelter and let them help walk some of the smaller dogs.
  • Volunteer to work with children in their classroom or other group setting to teach them how to be kind. You may be able to partner with your local animal shelter and bring a few of the animals into the classroom.

Violence breeds violence. Those who start out by abusing animals, go on to abuse children and their spouses and some have even gone on to murder. You don’t have to be a “teacher” to instill values into children, you simply have to have compassion and knowledge to show them the right way. The lessons they learn from you can last a lifetime.

If you would like more information on how to work with children in your area or how to form a youth group in your area. Please contact us today!

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