In Cameroon, where many families struggle to make ends meet, animals like donkeys, horses, dogs and cats areoften overlooked or left to fend for themselves. With few vets around and people having little money to carefor them, sick or injured animals often don’t survive.So when Wisky the dog became seriously ill, his only hope was 11-year-old Sedric.
Sedric didn’t like animals before attending SPANA’s humane education programme at his school. For many children who have grown up around working animals or household pets, a lack of education has led to a fear of animals and, as a result, these poor animals not getting the care they need.
Sedric reflected on his attittudes before attending classes, saying,
‘I never loved animals because I was afraid of them.They always used to bite my brother when he wanted to play with them. They used to eat my food.’
SPANA classes, which rely on fun and interactive activities to teach children compassion towards animals, are intended to educate the next generation of working animal owners. As Sedric learned that animals can feel hunger, pain, fear and happiness like humans, he began to care for his family’s animals and began feeding scraps from dinner to Wisky. His relationship with the little dog blossomed and the two became inseparable. So when Wisky fell ill, Sedric was distraught.
The little boy saved his meagre dinners to share with Wisky, although the poor animal was too sick to eat much. Sedric carefully spooned water into the dog’s mouth to make sure he didn’t become dehydrated. Over the course of a few days, Sedric nursed his beloved dog back to health. Every day before school, Sedric would ensure Wisky had enough food and water and cared for him as soon as he got home. Thanks to Sedric’s lifesaving intervention, Wisky gradually recovered his strength.
Sedric is now spreading the message of empathy toward animals to his whole family. He has shown his parents that the better they look after their donkeys, the harder the animals will work for the family. Sedric’s mother now takes extra care to provide their donkeys’ with fresh, clean water and nutritious food at all times. Her other children are learning to do the same thanks to the guidance of their mother and big brother.
SPANA’s mission is to reach as many children as possible through our humane welfare lessons in schools and mobile classrooms. With your continued support, we can teach even more children about compassion towards animals and improve the welfare of animals and people alike all over the world.