The future generation for animal welfare !
by pascaleworld on May 12, 2017 - 9:55am
For the past months, I have written many posts on different issues, but my last focus was on animal welfare. As a result, I chose to volunteer in order to be even more involved with animals.
I first decided to apply at the SPCA of Montérégie. I wanted to be able to walk dogs, wash them, and even perhaps being involved in their process of adoption or advertisement for the well-being of their animals. However, after sending two emails and calling them, I never received an answer. It was frustrating since I was really motivated to get involved and help these people. They also told the teacher they were searching for volunteers on Facebook, yet they never answered us. Instead, I interviewed Colleen with another student from my college and two other students from Montréal at “La Panthère Verte”. She was previously part of the SPCA, but she is now part of the non-profit organization engageanimal.org. Their goal is to mainly work with the younger generation and raise their awareness on animal welfare, since they are the future generation that will lead this world. They want this future generation to get even more involved with the community by bringing animals to their classrooms, so the children can learn how to treat an animal correctly and they will also develop empathy for them. In addition, they talked about their opinion on pitbulls, they do know genetics can be a risk-factor, but the environment the dog lives in is what decides on how the dog will behave towards humans, if they will be aggressive or not. A stressed dog has definitely more chances to bite than one that is calm. Most of the time, people fail to see these signs from the dogs that show how stressed he is. Colleen and her organization definitely want to bring the stereotypes around certain animals, such as black cats bring bad luck.
This is the restaurant where I met Colleen and Emily to interview them with the other students.
After the interview, I was given the opportunity to volunteer as her assistant in one of her activity in the same week. I met her at a school in Montréal her partner, Emilie, was talking about exotic birds ‘place in in homes. Since they were teaching young children, Emilie did not necessarily told them exotic birds should live in the wild and not in houses, but instead she explained to them what they can do in order for the bird to be happy and feel comfortable.
The project that followed after they finished speaking was to build nests for the birds. I was able to participate in the making of the project to give homes to the birds and as well participate in teaching the younger generation about animal welfare. It was an amazing experience. I collected dead leaves and other organics matters for the whole purpose of making these nests. While Colleen and Emily, another member of the organization, were talking, I was preparing the materials for the workshop. What makes it even more interesting is that Colleen brought a dog to the classroom. It follows the goal of her organizaiton about helping the future generation to appreciate animals by bringing one in their class.
These are the students during the workshop
Although humans have many domestic pets who have learned to live in contacts with us for many years, there are still some people who prefer to obtain exotic pets from the wild. In fact, according to the news article “How the Trend for Exotic Pets in the U.S. is Harming Wild Animal Populations Across the Globe” from One Green Planet, posted the 9th of February 2017 by Aisling Maria Cronin, this process often involves taking a young exotic animal away from their family and adapting the animal so it can become safe for its new owners. Sadly, most of them die in this process before reaching their new home. Birds, for example, often have their beaks taped to shut it or are given drugs in order to keep them during the transport. This article seems reliable, as it was posted by a non-profit organization, they are less likely to lie about their articles as their goal is not for money.
As it was shown in the post from One Green Planet, exotic animals are often harmed just so humans can have the pleasure to have such animals in their homes. However, it is hard to know if they are truly happy. As Colleen previously explained in her interview, there are 5 freedoms for the animals. It pushes us to wonder if these freedoms are really met for exotic animals. If you think about exotic birds or birds in general who are kept in a house, under a roof, they are no longer able to fly in the sky freely like they should be doing. Exotic birds’ place are definitely not next to humans under a roof, even though we can make efforts to keep the bird happy by having many plants and colorful areas in the house or even puzzles to keep them entertaining, flying is still a major part of their life that we take for granted. They can probably fly in a house, but not as much as they would outside. She also explained to us how a bird can be really stressed during the transport and that is why she never brought a bird in class.
I definitely recommend volunteering with Colleen, she is an amazing person and I honestly want to volunteer with her again.