Chris, a 9th grader in Bothell, was devastated to receive the news that his animal friend, Mr. Grey, had been horribly killed. Chris vowed that he would honor Mr. Grey’s life by raising awareness of the growing tide of animal abuse in our community. In-depth research was required to form a base for this project. Chris studied the history of animal cruelty, as well as statistics and tactics for preventing this serious crime. During his research, Chris discovered studies that show many violent offenders have histories of animal abuse.
Armed with determination, Chris took this information and produced a brochure and outreach display. He spoke at schools, community group gatherings, and vet clinics, and organized an outreach event at a local pet supply store. Chris distributed his brochures and spoke to the public about why animal cruelty needs to be taken seriously and what can be done to prevent it. His passionate story and strong message of action reached the hearts of those who listened.
This type of education, also known as Humane Education, is a growing field that fills a real need in communities all across the United States. It brings sciences such as biology and behavioral psychology together with environmental studies, veterinary medicine, philosophy, and other crucial disciplines. Humane Education programs, such as the Kids Who Care program at PAWS, go further than teaching students the basic facts about companion, farm, and wild animals. These programs inform people about issues animals face in the world, empowering them to take action to help end the suffering of animals in their communities and across the globe. Humane Education fosters empathy and respect for all animals and the earth.
Chris realized that education is the key to changing people’s hearts and minds — and discovered through his project that individuals, both young and old, can make a difference.