Category Archives: Blog

November is family violence prevention month

Deliberate abuse of a pet is a form of family violence. Identification and intervention leads to protecting both people and animals. There is a plethora of research that suggests a definitive link between animal abuse and other forms of violence. Young people who witness or commit acts of cruelty to animals may disclose these actions at school – through conversations, artwork or writing. It’s important that these are addressed, for the welfare of the animal and because animal abuse often occurs in conjunction with other forms of family violence.

What teachers need to know:

  • Families in which pets are abused or neglected have a higher occurrence of child abuse or neglect.
  • Children who abuse animals are often involved in bullying, vandalism, and more serious crimes.
  • Children who commit serious acts of cruelty to animals are 7 to 8 times more likely to have been sexually abused.
  • In an Alberta study (2012) of animal abuse in domestic violence situations, 85% of women reported that their children witnessed the threat or harm to the animal. In half of those cases, it was the child’s own pet.
  • Family pets are often targets in domestic violence, and threats of violence toward a pet are often used as a means of control by an abusive family member.

We can help:

Our webpage Animal Abuse: What you should know has advice for teachers including what to do if animal abuse is disclosed by students.

The Alberta SPCA has a publication on The Cruelty Connection with information specific to professionals including teachers, law enforcement, and service providers.

Kindness as the antidote:

Humane education promotes compassion for animals, people and the environment. Learning that people have a responsibility to respect and care about –  and for – animals, each other and the earth we share, helps to foster humane attitudes. This website has plenty of resources to help incorporate humane education into the classroom. Our Kindness Map Activities page, provides teachers an array of different activities to promote humane attitudes and have their students recognized.

Announcing the 2017 Humane Award Recipient!

The Alberta SPCA’s Humane Awards recognize Alberta teachers and students who inspire others to show compassion for animals, people and the environment through example and leadership. We are pleased to announce this year’s Humane Award recipient! The Animal Rescue Crew at F.R. Haythorne Junior High in Sherwood Park is working to enhance animal welfare in…Continue Reading

What inspires us? What sustains us?

Many years and several careers ago, I came across this picture in a magazine; for some reason it resonated with me, so I cut it out and put it in a thrift store frame and hung it on my wall. Something about that lonely, hungry animal overlooking the beautifully chaotic landscape spoke to me, though…Continue Reading

5 – Freedom to Express Normal Behavior

This week we will be discussing the last of the Five Freedoms: the freedom to express normal behaviour. This freedom is all about providing an animal with an environment that allows for behaviour that promotes their well-being. This is accomplished by providing the animal with sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of their own kind.…Continue Reading

4- Freedom from Fear and Distress

This week we will be discussing the fourth of the Five Freedoms: the freedom from fear and distress. This freedom is about providing animals with conditions and treatment that do not cause them to suffer mentally or physically. Read the following blog with your students to learn more! Have you ever heard strange noises at…Continue Reading

Speak up for humane education in the new provincial curriculum

Albertans have until June 2 to provide input into preliminary draft documents of the new curriculum being developed by Alberta Education. Now’s your chance to voice your opinion about including humane education, animal welfare or other topics related to kindness to animals, people and the environment. Here’s some tips to make it easier. Before you…Continue Reading

3- Freedom from Pain, Injury, and Disease

Welcome back to our Five Freedom series! This week we will be covering the third of the Five Freedoms: The Freedom from Pain, Injury, and Disease. This freedom is all about preventing health issues in domestic animals, and rapidly diagnosing and treating them when they do occur. Read the following blog with your students to…Continue Reading

2 – Freedom from Discomfort

This week we will be discussing the second of the Five Freedoms: The Freedom from Discomfort! This freedom is all about ensuring we provide domestic animals comfort which is achieved in different ways. Read the following blog with your students to learn more. At the end of a long day, where do you want to…Continue Reading

1 – Freedom from Thirst and Hunger

As mentioned in last week’s blog, we are doing a weekly blog series for the next month about the Five Freedoms! This week we will be discussing the first of the Five Freedoms: the Freedom from Thirst and Hunger. This Freedom is all about ensuring animals are provided with ready access to fresh water and…Continue Reading

Exploring the Five Freedoms

Developing a sense of responsibility is a critical component of character and citizenship education. We will be exploring this theme through addressing our obligation to be responsible for animals in our care. The more we learn about animals, what they need to be healthy, how they feel safe, what they like or dislike, etc., the…Continue Reading

Blog posts represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Alberta SPCA.