Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What we do in schools and why!

Most people are familiar with the Chinese proverb “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” With 11,000 animals requiring our care every year – we truly see how essential humane education is, in reducing overall rates of animal abandonment, neglect and cruelty in our community.

Humane Education examines the relationship between humans and animals, recognizing that we share many of the same physical and emotional needs.  We hope that through inviting humane education into the classroom curriculum, students begin to understand what it really means to be a responsible pet owner – recognizing that adopting or purchasing a new pet is a long term commitment. Families must be able to provide for an animal’s needs throughout its entire lifetime, before inviting any new pet into the home.

Last year we gave just over 200 humane education presentations at various schools in the Ottawa area. During our visits we teach responsibility, and inspire youth to become humane individuals, who embody life-building and character skills such as, empathy, respect, compassion and kindness towards animals. Our purpose is to engage students in a cause they are innately passionate about and encourage them to be ambassadors of kindness to all living beings – big and small. As our humane education program continues to expand, we hope see a new generation of responsible pet owners – who take care of their pets and educate others on what they've learned through our humane education presentations.

Some of our more popular presentation topics include:
  • The needs of animals (cats, dogs and small animals)
  • Being safe around animals
  • How to create a pet-friendly community (following animal by-laws, etc)
  • The cause of pet overpopulation (the importance of spaying and neutering)
  • How to prevent animal neglect and cruelty

For older groups, we also discuss more advanced topics such as:
  • The cosmetic industry
  • Animal cruelty and the link to interpersonal violence
  • Circus animals – entertainment or exploitation?

We let students know that they too can make a positive difference in their communities and the world around them, by showing them the impact our short-term decisions make on the lives of Ottawa’s animals. By giving students the opportunity to learn about animal welfare, we are building a more compassionate community and a brighter future for Ottawa’s animals.

For more information or to book a presentation this fall, please contact Ottawa Humane Society, coordinator: humane education by phone (613) 725-3166 ext. 235 or email

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