SDAA works with the Dept of Animal Services and humane societies to develop guidelines for the care and treatment of classroom “pets”. The primary goal is to eliminate animals from classrooms in favor of alternative humane education.
There are many problems associated with keeping animals in a classroom setting. Too many people handling an animal or even just looking at an animal can be very stressful to the creature. In many cases we find inadequate or incorrect housing, temperature, food or bedding, as teachers are not always well-informed on the needs of a particular species. Animals may be left alone and unattended during weekends and holidays, resulting in possibly inproper feeding and light/dark cycles. Or the animal is sent home with a different student each weekend or holiday, causing stress from such an inconsistent environment and routine.
We believe that strict guidelines need to be in place for the responsibility of caring for classroom "pets" and we are working to develop and implement them. We will encourage teachers to educate their students by bringing in responsible humane educators and licensed rescue groups to demonstrate the interesting habits of many species. In addition SDAA provides literature on appropriate animal care as well as information on the link between mistreatment of animals and domestic violence.
If you know of a classroom situation where an animal may be suffering from neglect or mishandling, please call our 24 hour information line at (760) 632-8638.