Hello my name is Beckham and I am an Education Dog for the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Rathfarnham. I was rescued by the DSPCA in 2002 when I was only a year old because a kind person reported that I was living in a back garden in Clondalkin. My owner was not feeding me enough food so I was very thin and sick. One of the DSPCA inspectors took me back to the shelter and there I was looked after very well. I was called Beckham after some famous lady called Victoria who is very skinny and when I was found she had been in hospital with something called anorexia. Not long after I hear that my owner was taken to court and as well as a fine of €150 was given a “Ban for Life” from owning a dog! I was very happy about this.
Beckham when he was rescued. Beckham now.
Shortly after this I moved out of the kennels and into my new home with my owner Gillian Bird who is the Eduction Officer. Part of her job is to give tours and talks in the shelter and I had great fun helping her with the children. Soon I was allowed to come with Gillian when she visited schools and I have been doing this ever since. I love to meet children of all ages, from little ones in Crèches to the adults in colleges and adult groups. I am a lively dog but I know that not everyone likes a big dog so I am very gentle and quite in these talks. My favourite thing to do in schools is to lie on the cool floor and let the children come and pet me. I don’t even mind the little ones poking me in the ears and eyes as they are only learning how to pet a dog. With the older children I do some rather clever tricks that I taught my owner to do – I sit, play “Dead”, don’t touch a dog treat until she tells me and I can even bark when she gives me the signal.
I suppose I should tell you a bit more about the DSPCA (also know as the Dogs & Cats Home). It is a registered charity and has been helping animals since 1840. They investigate cases of cruelty, offer a free animal ambulance service, provide long-term care of animals and rehome animals nursed back to health like me. They also campaign for improvements in the laws and they provide four subsidised clinics for people who cannot afford to visit a private vet. The DSPCA offers a wide range of free education services to suit all ages and levels of ability to anyone interested in animal welfare and pet care. Animal cruelty is usually the result of ignorance and as Gillian is fond of saying, the Dublin S.P.C.A. feels that education is the key to preventing future cases of this type of animal cruelty. The reality is, we would like in the future for there to be no need of our services and for this we need your help.
The reason for this article is to offer my services to you. After over 8 years personally educating children in and around Dublin about the work of the DSPCA and responsible pet care I would like to try to spread this humane message to the younger children as well. Gillian and I already visit many crèches and pre-school groups where she gives age appropriate talks and shows photographs of animals but we would love the opportunity to pass on the message of respect and kindness to all animals.
As well as these outreach talks, the children can visit our shelter in Rathfarnham for an hour and a half tour where they will be shown age appropriate videos and a talk followed by a tour around the facilities to see the dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, rabbits, birds etc. They can also meet me of course! Our services are free of charge but as a charity you understand that donations are always appreciated – the money to rescue animals like me has to come from somewhere.
Looking forward to lying on a floor near you soon!
Why not sponsor Beckham. Click here for details.