Educational campaign

Davao Jones Academy learns about humane animal care

Precious International School

Below are the two exercises (taken from the RSPCA) that staff will go over with students

Smiley face


Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.

Number of participants

You can run these activities with just one person, or in a small group.

How long it will take

The activities will take about 20 to 40 minutes altogether.

What to do

Animal/human needs

  • Ask the young person to draw a simple, smiley face – this will represent him or herself.
  • Ask him or her to think about what they need to make them happy and healthy, and to write each need around the smiley face, using a coloured felt pen. If you prefer, you can use the word/picture cards from the activity sheet What we need, and group them around the face. In the discussion, relate each suggestion to the young person’s everyday life. For example, we need food, so ask them what they like to eat.
  • Look at each suggestion and ask the young person to think how they’d feel if they had to live without it. Would it be possible? If they say yes, cross that idea out, so you are left with just the basic human needs.
  • Place the picture of a dog from the activity sheet Animals over the smiley face.
  • Look at each basic need in turn and ask whether the dog needs it too. Use a different-coloured pen to tick those it does need and put a cross by those it doesn’t need. For example, does it need water? Does it need exercise? Use the information on dogs in the facilitators’ notes Animals’ basic needs: Dogs to support your discussion.
  • Discuss the connection between the basic needs of humans and dogs. Did you cross out many things? What did you discover? What similarities are there between the basic needs of humans and dogs? Does an animal need anything that a human doesn’t?

Comparing animal needs

  • One by one, put pictures of other animals from the activity sheet Animals over the smiley face and think about the needs of each in turn. You could include a cat, rabbit, hedgehog, swan, sheep, laying hen. See the series of facilitators’ notes Animals’ basic needs for information about the basic needs of each animal.
  • Discuss the connection between the basic needs of the animals. What similarities are there between them? Are there any differences? Who is responsible for meeting their needs? You could agree that pet owners are responsible for pets and farmers for farm animals, while wild animals are good at meeting their own needs. Refer to the section Who is responsible? to explore this idea more fully.
  • Explain to the young person that the RSPCA believes the basic welfare of all animals must take into account the five freedoms. These are:
  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour
  5. Freedom from fear and distress.
  • Ask them to consider how similar these are to the basic needs they identified for all animals. Are there any they didn’t consider? The factsheet The five freedoms provides more information.

Ground rules for pet animals


Visual and auditory.

Number of participants

You can run this activity with just one person or in a small group.

How long it will take

The activity will take about 15 to 30 minutes.

What to do

  • Explain that this activity will help the young person explore what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behaviour when caring for pets, or being around other people’s pets. Anyone who owns a pet must provide what they need.
  • You can see the basic animal welfare needs listed in the factsheet The five freedoms. When we visit other people’s pets there are certain ways to behave, to avoid scaring or harming them.

Ground rules for pet owners

  • Explain that the young person is going to develop some ground rules or a code of conduct for pet owners. Help them to complete the activity sheet Five freedoms ground rules for pets. They need to record at least one rule for each of the five freedoms with words or pictures. You can use the factsheet The five freedoms to help.
  • An example of a ground rule might be:
  1. Always make sure your pet has clean water to drink all of the time.

Ground rules for visiting pet animals

  • Explain that the young person is going to develop some ground rules or a code of conduct for how to behave when visiting other people’s pets. Emphasise the positives, by encouraging the young person to discuss things they CAN do rather than what they CAN’T do. For example:
  1. Talk quietly around pets, rather than Don’t shout
  2. Be gentle, rather than Don’t hit pets.
  • You or the young person should keep a record of the code of conduct for future reference. You may want to use it for the Visit activity, which is also in this section.