A WIRRAL RSPCA inspector is calling for schools to play their part in the fight back against the rising number of animal cruelty cases across Wirral.

Last year saw six men jailed for acts of heartbreaking and horrific cruelty towards pets and wildlife.

The animal charity claims the level of brutality shown towards animals in Wirral has reached an unprecedented level.

One of the most high profile cases of 2014 was that of father and son Ronald and Lee Guy, both of Harrowby Road, who were jailed after they filmed animals – including a fox – being torn apart in arranged fights.

The jailing of Stefan McCormick, of Devonshire Road, for six months after he snapped his puppy’s legs was also one of the most heartbreaking cases of the last 12 months.

But while animal cruelty is sadly becoming more common, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes believes the key to changing opinion and behaviour towards animals is education and wants schools across Wirral to make the most of the charity’s educational resources, which are free to use.

 “The bottom line is education, that’s key,” said Inspector Joynes.

“A lot of teachers might not know what is out there for them but if they could set aside some time each term just to go into the basics of animal welfare with children, it could make a big difference.”

While the RSPCA’s education department has been decimated in recent years due to a lack of funding, Inspector Joynes told the Globe the resources are still available for schools to use.

Fun and interactive lessons plans are available online for teachers to access, built around the curriculum and complementing existing subjects.

“The RSPCA’s core aim is to promote kindness and prevent cruelty towards animals – education can play a part in that,” said Inspector Joynes.

“Schools can help to raise awareness of animal welfare and we want to help them to become more animal friendly.”

Inspector Joynes praised those schools in Wirral which are already leading the way in improving basic knowledge of animal welfare.

Wirral Globe:
RSPCA Inspector Joynes with Suki, who he rescued from neglect last month.

“There are schools in Wirral that have their own farms and allotments which is great because it gets the kids hands on. It gets them involved and teaches them the basic animal needs, but I think it could go a step further.

“In an ideal world I would love every school on the Wirral and Merseyside to commit some time each term, or each month to sit the kids down and get them thinking about animal ethics and animal welfare.”

Inspector Joynes joined the society six years ago and has become one of its busiest inspectors.

He won an award last year for his tenacity to investigating animal cruelty, which has also led to a number of Wirral residents receiving lengthy animal bans for failing to attend to their pet’s needs.

Inspector Joynes said: “The problem is lack of knowledge and understanding, and education, because these people often don’t actually think what they are doing is wrong.

“But if children are taught about animal welfare in school, they can go home and educate their parents and say, ‘Listen mum, that’s not allowed, that’s not the way to do it’.

“We have kids that put frogs on barbecues and play football with hedgehogs, but if children learn about this at school, I think they’ll learn to show empathy towards animals.

“You don’t have to love animals and you don’t have to want to own a small family farm, but I just want children to be able to show empathy towards them.

“We want to stop the people that go out of their way to hurt animals and if schools can set aside some time, then maybe children will think twice about kicking a hedgehog around the school playground and might think twice about getting a dog as soon as they reach a certain age.”

He added: “It would be great if the Wirral was the start of something that could go nationwide and really benefit animal welfare.”

  • To find out more and to access the lesson plans, visit education.rspca.org.uk
  • Any school that would like to get in touch with Inspector Joynes should call the Wallasey branch on 0151 638 6318.