Over 70 students of Ideal Jawa Rotary School spent time with strays and pets housed at the People For Animals (PFA) shelter here on Saturday. The objective of the exercise was to remove the fear of animals from the minds of the children.
For Candice Fonceca, a teacher at the school whose initiative this was, it is almost a mission to see that animals are treated well.
She said: “Almost every day, I see children, especially boys, throwing stones at animals, especially stray dogs, just because they are bored and looking for cheap entertainment. I have also often come across situations where a child is throwing stones at a dog even as the adult with them does not stop them.”
She explained how a child often grows up with a fear of dogs or animals, because of their parents. “The parents,” she said, “scare the little ones half to death with their hysterics when a dog passes by them on the street.”
“They grab the kid saying the dog will bite them. This ends up probably scaring the child.”
The visit to the animal shelter might help rid the children of some of their fears, Ms. Fonceca said.
A batch of 72 students from Class 7 of the school, armed with goodies for the animals, and two other teachers visited the shelter. There, under supervision of the teachers and PFA staff, they were allowed to touch and carry puppies, bottle feed a calf and observe the animals.