Animal Guardians is a free resource being offered to primary school aged children who have been flagged as having the potential to commit animal cruelty or have already been involved in an animal cruelty incident.
The programme is currently only being offered to children living in the Edinburgh City Council region; however, it is our ambition to expand this service across Scotland.
Through Animal Guardians we aim to break the cycle between animal cruelty and violent crime by promoting positive child-animal interactions.
The programme will run alongside our existing ‘Prevention through Education’ programme, which currently reaches more than 270,000 children across Scotland every year.
Research, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, has shown that our Prevention through Education programme effectively increases knowledge, positive attitudes and children’s beliefs in animal emotions and welfare. Therefore, decreasing their tolerance of animal cruelty.
This research has highlighted that adverse childhood experiences (ACES) such as abuse, victimisation and bullying can play a pivotal role in the likelihood that a child will engage in animal cruelty. We will continue working with the University of Edinburgh to assess our new Animal Guardians programme and we hope that we will achieve the same successful outcomes.
How does Animal Guardians work?
At present Animal Guardians is only being offered to children in the Edinburgh City Council region. Practitioners can refer children using the referral form found in our Animal Guardians information booklet.
If you are a parent/carer and want to find out more please download our leaflet (adult). To share this information with a child we have also created a child-friendly leaflet for your use.
To find out more about the programme please refer to the information booklet or contact our education team on 03000 999 999 (option 5).