Tag Archives: animals

Animals and Remembrance Day

This Remembrance Day marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. Over 650,000 men and women from Canada served in this war, with 66,000 of those making the ultimate sacrifice. That is one in ten people who never returned home to their loved ones.

Working alongside these brave men and women were animals. Animals had a significant role in the First World War (and wars since). Mules hauled ammunition over treacherous terrain, as did horses who also carried troops. Dogs were used as messengers, bomb detectors, and for search and rescue missions. Carrier pigeons delivered messages to specific destinations and were said to be the most dependable way of sending a message during the war. Collected in jars, Glowworms provided much needed light in the trenches for officers to study battle maps and soldiers to read their letters from home. From these examples alone, it is easy to recognize the importance of animals in war.

In fact, the role of animals in war is so significant that in 2012 the Animals in War Dedication was created. This monument is located in Confederation Park in Ottawa, and is symbolically situated next to the South African War Memorial. This location is symbolic because Canada supplied 50,000 horses for that war. It is important to remember the brave women, men and animals who serve in war so their sacrifice is not forgotten.

Animals in War Dedication in Conferderation Park, Ottawa

We encourage you to discuss the role animals have in war, with your students. Below are resources and activities that will help with that discussion.

From Veterans Affairs Canada, the Remembrance Clubhouse animals participate in the Heritage Fair and present projects on Canadian military history. Divide your class into six groups. Assign one of the Remembrance Clubhouse friends to each group. Have groups research the story that goes with their character. Each group can share what they learned with the class.

With your class, go through the photos and discuss what emotions each photo evoked. Did seeing a particular animal surprise you? Have students pick an animal in the video and research the role it played in war. What special quality does the animal have that allows it to do its role? Create a collage or poster and share it with the class.

In this short video, Lloyd Swick, Canadian War Veteran and Project Initiator for Animals in War Dedication Project discusses the importance of animals in war and why he thought Canada should have a monument of national significance. Why is it important to honour animals who serve in war? Do you think the monument portrays what it was intended to portray? Are there other monuments dedicated to animals that you know of? Have students create/draw their own monument dedicated to service animals.

John, a K9 handler in Afghanistan recounts his experience working with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and the deep bond he shared with his canine partner. What other jobs can dogs have? Have students research other types of service dogs/animals and the role they play.

If you do any of these activities with your class, we would love to hear about it. Let us know by emailing and your class will be added to our Kindness Map!

Every One Counts Contest Prize Recipients!

We are happy to announce the prize recipients of the Every One Counts contest! Many of the entries were strong contenders, so to say it was a difficult decision would be an understatement. The three entries selected to receive a prize did a great job of telling us why the animals count and what actions…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

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

Alberta’s New Curriculum – an opportunity for leadership in humane values

The current review of provincial curriculum – being conducted by Alberta Education in partnership with the Alberta Teachers’ Association – provides a unique opportunity to incorporate positive, effective changes in our schools to help students’ character development through humane education. Indeed, we can become the first province to explicitly include humane education in the provincial…Continue Reading

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

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