Animal Action Project
A special educational and prevention project to give children in care a helping hand in developing compassion for animals.
Research has shown that small children who have witnessed or experienced abuse at a young age sometimes don't know that cruelty is wrong. Witnessed behaviours can be copied, or feelings of powerlessness, fear and uncertaintity may be taken out on animals.
During Animal Action Days - which have been piloted thanks to funding from the BIg Lottery Awards for All England and Big Lottery Awards for All Wales - children are taught about animals' welfare needs and shown that animals need empathy and kindness too. This helps to ensure that the children begin to have more positive interactions with the animals around them.
Interactive sessions developing key skills
The session includes classroom-based activities including learning about the five animal welfare needs, discussing how animals have feelings and how to approach and behave around unfamiliar dogs safely. Children also get to meet an RSPCA inspector who provides an insight into their job, the rescue equipment they use and how they respond to different animals in need.
At one of our Animal Action Days in Birmingham last year, we had animals with really sad and tragic stories, and one of the children said: 'These animals, they're just like us, this is what happens in foster care.' Animals truly bring out the best in people.
Kate O'regan, RSPCA Prevention Programme Adviser