World Stray Animals Day: Teach Animal Empathy In Your Children From A Young Age
This Wednesday we will be honoring World Stray Animals Day and mom says that the operative word here is compassion – because if we have compassion & empathy for the stray animals in our area, then maybe some will find it in their hearts to help give the animals a better life through volunteering, and/or donating money directly to the various rescue groups and no-kill shelters.
Which Animals Are Stray Animals?
Stray animals are generally considered to be abandoned or ones who have “strayed” from home and became lost. These animals can often be easily re-homed as they are not “wild” – they just need a caring foster or fur-ever parent who has the patience to show them love so that the animal will trust again.
Mom says that we need to start educating children to have compassion and empathy for those less fortunate than us – and our pets who live a well-protected life!
Teaching Children About Stray Animals
If our children love their pets and would do anything to protect them, mom thinks that we can “transfer” that same love and caring to the stray animal population, specifically in our case, the local community cats.
Imagine if the schools would incorporate an event to honor this day – as a teachable moment!
Schools should create some fun around and mix it with a little education by talking about how steady TNR/TNA initiatives can reduce the stray animal population! And impart to them to have compassion for the stray animals they see, and not think that they are bad or should be harmed in any way ever! Remember – these animals did not choose this life on the streets or in junkyards, etc.
The students can plan a food drive for the local shelter to feed the strays, have a shelter-building workshop, create animal drawings and sell them at a rescue event or campaign for donations from “family and friends” – and that is just the tip of the iceberg!
Mom also showed me a children’s book called Nobody's Cats: How One Little Black Kitty Came In From The Cold – by Valerie Ingram and Alistair Schroff. Hmmm...this story sounds like mine…and the drawing on the cover looks like me too!
It is a sweet story about a boy who sees other children throwing rocks at the stray cats – and he intervenes to protect the cats. The story goes on to how he comes to adopt this little black cat and, of course, all the lessons learned along the way.
By purchasing this book and reading it to young children, you are introducing animal empathy to minds that are ready to learn the concept!
I was a street cat once – not sure if I was a stray or just a kitten born on the streets of Union City, NJ, but nonetheless, I was lucky to be rescued and then found my fur-ever mom…I hope for the same life for all the stray animals out there on the streets who need love, care and compassion too! Meow!