Tag Archives: compassion

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.

Responding to Disaster: The Fort McMurray Fire

A disaster can happen when we least expect it. But when people step up, get involved and work together, difficult situations can be overcome and the Fort McMurray fire is a great example of this. From the start, the fires moved quickly, intensely and unpredictably. People were forced to evacuate with little warning – this…Continue Reading

Announcing the 2015 Humane Awards Recipients!

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 Recipients! For incorporating humane education principles that foster empathy and respect for all living, the 2015 Humane Teacher Award recipient…Continue Reading

Three ways to Inspire Ethical Citizenship

In Alberta’s Ministerial Order on student learning the government identified fundamental learning goals for students to ensure a prosperous and positive future for Alberta. We must aim to inspire all students to reach their full potential through the three Es’: “engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit.” The second of the e’s –…Continue Reading

Marks of Kindness

Students and teachers across the province have done some wonderful things to make a difference for animals, people and the environment! This short video highlights just some of the things they were up to this past school year. Enjoy! For more examples of students making a difference, visit our Kindness Map!Continue Reading

“It Was Just a Pet” – Helping students deal with pet loss

“Tomorrow will be my first day ever without him. I’m going to miss Jasper so, so much… Today was the hardest day of my life.” Marjorie Blain Parker, Jasper’s Day Pets can enrich the lives of children – they are playmates, friends and sources of unconditional love. They teach responsibility, compassion and caring for another living…Continue Reading

Empathy – Do we need to teach it?

In Alberta’s most recent ministerial order on student learning, the government identified fundamental learning goals for students to ensure a prosperous and positive future for our province. We need to aim to “inspire all students to achieve success and fulfillment” and to reach their full potential by being “engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an…Continue Reading

Ugly Human or Humane Hero?

There was a popular novel in the 1960s called The Ugly American, about U.S. expatriates in south-east Asia. The title phrase has come to be interpreted as representing ignorant attitudes sometimes displayed by rich westerners when they travel to poorer countries in the south – those who don’t bother to learn the customs or language…Continue Reading

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