Pet Corner: Ethics workshops to help teens become good pet owners

Pet Corner: Ethics workshops to help teens become good pet owners

Education dog, Piper

Dogs Trust is bringing a brand new ethics workshop to secondary schools nationwide to teach teenagers about animal welfare through critical thinking and ethical dilemmas.

The classes will be run by the charity’s education team and it is a response to research that has shown that learning ethics in school helps children to make sound decisions, discover and evaluate their opinions, and make thoughtful and confident decisions.

“Dogs can play such an important role in our lives, offering unconditional love and companionship, which has been especially valuable over the past year,” said Fiona Gregan, education and community manager, Dogs Trust Ireland. "We want to nourish this bond and create further understanding of dogs and animal welfare, so what better medium to engage teenage minds than that of ethics?

“To offer hypothetical scenarios and encourage healthy discussion is something our team is immensely looking forward to, and we plan to then continue to educate these pupils with annual visits, offering brand new workshops every year.”

The Dogs Trust education team has been delivering workshops to primary schools, secondary schools, and local communities since 2005 — and aims to educate children and adults about responsible dog ownership and safety.

“By helping young people learn about the responsibilities and commitment involved in dog ownership we believe that we can reduce the number of dogs that are mistreated, straying and/or abandoned,” they said.

The new workshop follows on from the success of the charity’s current nationwide primary school programme of workshops that educates children on safety around dogs and also addresses responsible dog ownership.

Workshops are available face-to-face where possible, in line with Dogs Trust’s rigorous Covid-19 guidelines, and also through adhering to the schools' Covid-19 response plan.

To coincide with the launch, Dogs Trust has launched a new online platform in which live online workshops can be booked for both primary and secondary school age groups. These are delivered over Zoom

If the live classes don’t suit a schedule, downloadable workshops are also available for the primary school audiences, and fun and engaging activities can be accessed for both age groups via the Kids Space section of the charity’s website. These are available to schools, and also to parents and youth groups.

“While there are still massive merits to visiting a school, now that we are online, we can visit any school in Ireland providing they have broadband and access to Zoom.”

Visit to make a booking and access the new online platform.

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