Cuddly toy company, Build-A-Bear, has made a donation of 30 'Promise Pets' - pairs of dog and cat teddies - to the RSPCA. The toys will be used to spread an important message to young children across the UK.
Build-A-Bear has bear-building workshops around the world and is already involved in similar schemes in the USA and Canada. The animal welfare charity will use the toys in schools to teach children the importance of respecting animals and how to responsibly care for pets.
RSPCA account manager Kat Lichfield said, "We have 15 school ambassadors who help us with our vital work in influencing the next generation of animal owners. The RSPCA is committed to educating children to ensure they show respect and compassion towards all animals, as well as understand the responsibility of owning a pet.
"Build-A-Bear have kindly donated 30 fluffy toy cats and dogs to help us with our educational work. This means our ambassadors will be able to take these teddies into schools to use them alongside their talks and demonstrations to help illustrate important points about responsible pet ownership."
The teddies will be used to help youngsters understand how to behave around pets. They will also encourage children who might want to buy outfits for pets, something the RSPCA has concerns over due to clothing restricting animals movement and ability to exhibit their natural behaviours, that they may want to buy outfits and accessories for their stuffed toys instead.
Kat added, "We’d like to say a huge thank you to Build-A-Bear for their generous donation and to all their customers for helping us to continue such vital work to educate the next generation."
Build-A-Bear's charity arm - the Build-A-Bear Foundation - also donated £4,685 to the RSPCA and encourages its customers to rehome rather than buy.