AN ANIMAL charity is inviting children in care to learn about animal welfare and meet some of their animals.

The RSPCA will give children in care who are between the ages of five and 16 the chance to experience a fun, educational day in County Durham where they can learn about animal welfare and meet RSPCA staff along with some special RSPCA rescue animals.

The animal welfare charity works alongside local authorities and private foster agencies to develop Animal Action Days which help to teach children to understand what animals need to be happy and healthy.

It is part of Generation Kind, an outreach and education programme by the RSPCA which focusses on developing compassion and empathy in children and young people as well as teaching them to be safer around animals.

The two Animal Action Days are taking place at the RSPCA’s Felledge Animal Centre, in Chester-le-Street, in February half-term, on Wednesday February 19 and Thursday February 20.

Kate O’Regan, RSPCA regional prevention and education adviser for the north, said: “Interactions with animals, especially pets, can represent a powerful opportunity to promote self-esteem, encourage the development of empathetic concerns and positive social interactions in people and children - especially for those children who have suffered adversity in their lives.

“Animal Action Days are an amazing opportunity to help young people see that animals deserve kindness, respect, safety and love, just like them.

“Some may never have had pets before or have come from homes where animals weren’t treated with kindness and find themselves living with foster carers who have an animal.

“As well as the practical issues of keeping youngsters safe around animals and helping them understand how to care for them, the understanding of how their actions impact on animals may help their relationships with animals, as well as help them develop their human relationships as well.

“In some instances, foster placements can potentially break down as a result of inappropriate behaviour towards the animals in the home, so the RSPCA hopes that this work can contribute to keeping children in happy secure foster placements.”

At the engaging sessions, children and their carers will be taught about animal welfare and will be shown that animals need empathy and kindness, in hopes that this will help them to develop positive relationships with the animals around them.

The day involves classroom-based activities and practical workshops, including learning about the five animal welfare needs, discussing how animals have feelings and how to approach and behave around dogs safely.

The children also learn all about understanding dog behaviour, so they know when it is safe to play with a dog, or when it is best to give them some space if they are stressed or worried.

Children and their carers also get to meet an RSPCA inspector who gives them an insight into their job, the rescue equipment they use and how they respond to different animals in need.

A tour of the centre will also be given where the attendees can meet some of the rescue animals looking for homes along with the staff who work hard caring for them.

For more information or to make a referral contact Kate O’Regan at:

To find out more about how the RSPCA work with cared for children, or any other Generation Kind projects, visit: