New workshops teach local school children about animal welfare

Local charity, Bath Cats and Dogs Home, is responding to the animal rescue crisis with a new programme of free workshops for primary schools in Bath and North-East Somerset and west Wiltshire as part of its ongoing outreach work in the community.  The charity saw a 12% increase in the intake of rescue pets in 2022 due to the cost-of-living crisis and services continued to be stretched to capacity in 2023 coupled with the added pressure of 15% fewer dog adoptions last year.

In the workshops pupils learn the five essential welfare needs of pets with the long term aim that future generations have a good understanding of pet care responsibilities and fewer pets are handed into animal rescue centres.

The charity, based at Claverton in Bath, has so far run the fun and interactive sessions at Castle Mead Primary School in Trowbridge, Twerton Infant School and Nursery, St Martin’s Garden School and Combe Down Primary School in Bath. Bath Cats and Dogs Home is now inviting more primary schools to benefit from their new workshops which cover how to keep pets happy and healthy, how to be safe around dogs, and engaging activities such as memory games and drawing sessions.

Fiona Netto, Education and Outreach Manager, Bath Cats and Dogs Home said: “We often learn our love of animals and how to care for them from a young age, so we’ve developed these workshops specifically to inspire pupils aged 4-9 years to understand and care about animal welfare, and the importance of empathy towards animals.”

Astral Blanchard, Year Two teacher at Twerton Infant School and Nursery said: “The session was well suited to our Key Stage 1 children with interactive activities to engage the children.  It was especially effective to illustrate that the basic needs of an animal are the same as the basic needs of a human and enabled the children to think about appropriate conditions for pets. I would highly recommend these sessions to other school settings.”

Rachel Jones, CEO at Bath Cats and Dogs Home said: “Our role in the community reaches beyond our animal rescue work and our education and outreach projects are a major part of our mission to support responsible pet ownership and help those in need. From school talks to pop up vet clinics on the streets, we’re making a difference to pets, and keeping them with their owners.”

Bath Cats and Dogs Home’s outreach work to support pets and their owners in the community includes the Together Project which provides free, monthly veterinary clinics run by volunteers from Bath Vets to support the pets of people who are homeless or vulnerably housed in Bath and being supported by Genesis Trust or Julian House. The charity also runs a Low-Cost Neutering Programme, Emergency Vet Care Financial Assistance Fund and provides monthly deliveries of surplus pet food to local food banks in Bath, Trowbridge and Frome.

Teachers interested in requesting a classroom workshop from Bath Cats and Dogs Home can email
Or to find out more visit Outreach work (