A thought for working animals:

The State Pension age in Britain is creeping ever upwards and will rise to 67 within the next decade, meaning people are working longer than ever before.

However, it is worth sparing a thought for working animals in developing countries, which never get to retire and endure punishing working conditions.

Across the world, around 200 million working horses, donkeys, camels, elephants and other animals do the jobs of trucks, tractors and taxis, and support the livelihoods of more than half a billion people in the poorest communities. Like their owners, they face a lifetime of work, carrying backbreaking loads in extreme temperatures. But SPANA believes a life of work shouldn’t mean a life of suffering.

On International Working Animal Day (June 15), I’m asking everyone to show their support for these hardworking animals to ensure that their welfare is improved and they receive the veterinary treatment they need when they are sick or injured. Please help give working animals the care they desperately need by visiting www.spana.org/iwad.

Geoffrey Dennis

Chief Executive, SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad)

Learning to Be Dog Smart:

This week is Dogs Trust’s annual Be Dog Smart week. It’s the third year that the UK’s largest dog welfare charity has run the initiative and as one of the charity’s 27 Education and Community Officers, I’ll be visiting schools across the South of England, including Berkshire to ensure they understand how to behave around dogs, particularly in the home.

My job involves providing local schools in and around Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey with workshops to share fundamental dog safety advice, in a fun, friendly and engaging way. Since the last Be Dog Smart Week I have held workshops in over 50 primary schools, reaching 5,186 pupils.

Whilst being around dogs can have so many wonderful benefits for young people, the simple fact is that any dog can bite or snap if they are worried or hurt. Be Dog Smart week allows us to reach even more children with our safety messaging.

Dogs bring so much joy into people’s lives but unfortunately, we can’t teach dogs to understand when and why a child might act in a certain way towards them, but we can teach children how to care for their dogs and behave responsibly around them. At Dogs Trust, we believe educating children, parents, carers, teachers and dog owners about dog safety, is the first step to preventing bite-related incidents.

Dogs Trust’s Be Dog Smart Week is an important initiative that will help us continue to spread fundamental dog safety advice to hundreds of children and parents across the UK. We run our workshops all year round, so if you’re a local parent, guardian or teacher please do get in touch for further information or to book a workshop. There are heaps of useful resources available here at: www.bedogsmart.org.uk.

Sara-Jane Ladums, Dogs Trust Education and Community Officer