More than half of UK households are home to an animal companion, so it’s no surprise that we often describe ourselves as a nation of animal lovers. Tragically, love is not enough. In too many cases, much loved animals are suffering because we don’t understand their needs.
We know that people love their companions and would never knowingly cause them harm. But we need to help people truly understand their animals, so they can better provide for them. We want to educate and inspire people to recognise that animals are individuals, with personalities and things that matter to them. To understand that they have mental and physical health needs just as important and complex, but not necessarily the same as ours.
Some have severe physical health problems because we have selectively bred them to look a certain way for hundreds of years. Others struggle with mental health problems because we misinterpret their behaviour, failing to provide for their emotional needs. Animals express their emotions in different ways, not necessarily as humans do.
By donating towards our summer appeal, you will help:
- Enable people to understand their animals; both as a species and individuals, to better provide for them.
- Encourage more people to think carefully about whether they can provide for the physical and emotional needs of an animal before offering them a home.
- Raise awareness of mental health needs in animals, and recognition that ‘behaviour problems’ are often signs that the animal is struggling.
- Change perceptions of specific breeds and discourage the breeding of animals for their looks, at the expense of their health. Some people believe that health issues are “normal” for particular breeds; that needs to change.
- Work towards making animal behaviour and welfare compulsory in schools.
We want to create a movement of people educating themselves and others so that we can understand our animals and give them the best life possible. We also want to discourage buying from breeders who value looks over welfare. We want to end the suffering of the animals we love and bring into our homes. Love is not enough, but it is a great place to start.
Thank you for your gift. It’s only with your support that we can raise awareness and create long term change, ending the silent suffering of the animals we call family.