Abu Dhabi – These children are being taught lessons in animal care through a volunteer-led education program, following a rise in cruelty cases were reported in Abu Dhabi.
Volunteers at Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi have witnessed a drastic rise in abuse and want to educate younger people to avoid further cases in future.
Welfare groups in Dubai and also in Abu Dhabi have reported cats being shot or maimed in the recent months. Sickeningly, some incidents have even been filmed and circulated through social media.
Al Rabeeh school in the capital is the fist to benefit from lessons delivered by Dr. Susan Aylott, who is from AWAD. Children have also been enjoying accompanied visits to a feeding station located nearby, helping a colony of 15 stray cats.
Dr. Aylott has established several cat-feeding stations around the capital and works closely with the municipality on its sterilization program.
“In light of what has been happening recently, with alarming animal abuse cases, it has been heartening to receive a positive response to this project,” she stated.
“To have the school on-board will hopefully lead the way for others to follow.”
“We show the children these stations are important so the cats become part of a stable, healthy colony.”
Teachers and pupils alike were given an age-related education pack from the International Foundation for Animal Welfare, with teacher notes and an hour-long work program on animal welfare.
Dr. Aylott, who is British, gave the lessons through an Arabic translator.
“The program is available in English and Arabic, so easily transferable to other schools,” she went on to say.
“There are colonies of cats everywhere, so it is education that is needed.”
Phil Yates, who is the assistant vice principal of Al Rabeeh, stated the school’s 850 pupils will benefit from lessons and have enjoyed interacting with the colony.
“We’ve always had a large number of stray cats situated around the premises of our school and noticed our children’s perceptions of cats weren’t as positive as we would have hoped,” he stated.
“Our student council and house captains have thoroughly enjoyed maintaining the feeding station so far, and learning how to care for cats, respect animals and their environment.”
“We hope the children share their positive experiences and what they’ve learned with their family members and continue to promote animal welfare.”