Potters Bar children in care set to look after neglected and abused dogs

PUBLISHED: 18:13 05 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:13 05 August 2019

A paws for change event. Picture: RSPCA.

A paws for change event. Picture: RSPCA.

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Potters Bar children in care are set to look after neglected and abused dogs.

A paws for change event. Picture: RSPCA.A paws for change event. Picture: RSPCA.

A 'paws for change course' and an animal action day, run by the RSPCA, will take place next week in Potters Bar to educate young people from all backgrounds about animal welfare.

During the paws for change sessions, 14 to 18-year-olds are taught skills like confidence, decision making and communication through empathy and compassion for animals.

Elaine Davis, RSPCA project coordinator, said: "It could be a little dog that's not interested in people suddenly having a waggy tail and being pleased to see someone, to a young person that doesn't make eye contact with you but by the end of the course is chatting away about the dog that they've been training.

"And these things may seem quite small but they can actually be really big and have a lasting impact on the young person and the dog involved.

"What these young people have done with these dogs will really help them find homes."

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Animal Action Days are for children aged five to 14 who are in care, as well as their carers and siblings.

"Many foster carers have pets in their homes and we have frequent requests for educational resources about animals from foster agencies," Ms Davis said.

"We feel there is a need to run educational activities for children to encourage positive behaviour around animals and to keep them safe around them.

"Occasionally, a child may display behaviour which scares or hurts an animal in the home.

"If a foster carer is worried about their animals, they may ask for the child to be moved to another placement - which can be disruptive and unsettling for a child. 
"Avoiding these problems in the first place means that children can stay in safe and loving placements, learn about compassion towards animals and the animals stay safe too."

Paws for change - with attendance only from social carer referrals - is from August 12 to 15 at RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre, Potters Bar. Animal action day will take place on August 16 at the same place.

For more information, please contact Ms Davis at: elaine.davis@rspca.org.uk.

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