The AACL through its Education Programme aims to instil empathy, kindness and a humane ethic towards animals. Our Responsible Pet Care programme emphasizes pet care responsibility and teaches hands on basic pet care, highlighting important issues like sterilization, tick/flea and disease control i.e. the importance of vaccinating against diseases such as rabies, distemper etc.
It further makes children aware of the function and services the AACL Shelters provide, promoting among others adoption and the identification and reporting of cruelty to the inspectorate.
The Education Program is in essence based on the 5 Freedoms of Animals:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal / natural behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
Education Officers are available to visit schools (free of charge) to introduce learners to animal welfare and to create an awareness of some of the challenges and to teach basic responsible pet care skills.
Schools are also invited to visit the AACL Shelters for guided tours so that learners can see first-hand how shelters operate and the services they provide.
Education material such as posters and worksheets are developed and available free of charge to assist teachers in the classroom.
Education projects like the Annual School Poster Competition (Gauteng) and the School Tin Collection Drive also create awareness and give children the opportunity to get involved and support the AACL.
Many schools have annual Fundraising or Pet Food Collection campaigns in support of their local AACL society.
Through the Volunteer Programme children also get the opportunity to interact directly with the animals in the shelters. Volunteer courses are presented to assist and prepare children to work hands on with the shelter animals.
Two floating awards, the Kind Cup for Primary Schools and the Care Award, are presented annually to schools which have shown exceptional support to the AACL in that year.