Over the last three years, SPANA has been working with the Ghana Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (GSPCA), based in the capital city of Accra, to deliver humane education lessons to primary school children.
In Ghana, most domestic animals are kept confined in cages or pens without proper veterinary care. Standards of welfare are also poor, and many animals, including cattle, donkeys and domestic animals such as dogs and cats, suffer needlessly due to cruel and inhumane treatment.
But the GSPCA is changing the quality of life for thousands of animals, working to educate children and communities about the importance of fostering caring, compassionate relationships. Mr David Nyoagbe, Co-Founder of the GSPCA, explains the need for proper animal handling and animal welfare education:
‘We want people to know that animals also matter. If for example, you don’t feed your dog or cat properly, it will search for food alongside stray animals and risk being infected with fatal diseases like rabies.’
Working with schools, the GSPCA has established animal kindness clubs and taught over 500 children animals care lessons. The children learn the importance of showing compassion and care to animals, dramatically changing perceptions of how to interact with animals.
The children are taught about the need to provide animals with nutritious food and clean water as well as safe and comfortable shelter. Students of these lessons are embracing David’s teachings, seeking medical help when animals are sick or injured and being gentler when handling their pets and livestock.
David explains to his classes the myriad of benefits that animals can provide to their owner’s health. He teaches children how simply petting an animal can lower blood pressure and even help people to manage depression. Domestic animals can also help children to develop greater empathy and higher self-esteem while also increasing participation in social and physical activities.
GSPCA seeks to promote animal welfare, strengthen the human-animal bond, and safeguard animal rights while encouraging responsible animal ownership. David is leading the way in showing his fellow Ghanaians how happier animals can create happier communities as well.