Humane Education Program

The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Animals and the Law, would like to introduce you to our “Intro to Humane Education” program. This program can help educators meet the requirements of New York State Education Law §809, which states:

“The officer, board or commission authorized or required to prescribe courses of instruction shall cause instruction to be given in every elementary school under state control or supported wholly or partly by public money of the state, in the humane treatment and protection of animals and the importance of the part they play in the economy of nature as well as the necessity of controlling the proliferation of animals which are subsequently abandoned and caused to suffer extreme cruelty.”   

The Humane Education program we have developed is for children in grades K-6. Our program includes a comprehensive outline that educators can use, as well as supplemental handouts. Topics we cover include: the responsibilities of having a companion animal; how to care for your companion animal; the importance of being kind to animals; and a brief explanation of the difference between companion animals, farm animals, and wild animals. Throughout the outline, we highlight sections that are geared toward certain age groups (Grades K-2 and Grades 3-6).

In 2002, the New York State Bar Association created the Committee on Animals and the Law to focus on legal issues regarding the interests of animals as well as those of pet owners and animal caregivers, and to focus on professional development and public education relating to animal related legal issues. Since its inception, the Committee has aimed to be a legal resource for humane-related issues pertaining to animals and is committed to making a difference for both animals and people.

If you have any questions, contact our Education Subcommittee Chair, Ashlee K. Cartwright, Esq. at [email protected]. We look forward to working with you to bring this program to your school.

Materials (Click on the link to download the files to your computer):

Humane Education Program Outline

Do’s and Don’ts of Companion Animals (Handout)

Do’s and Don’ts of Companion Animals (Fill-in)

What Not to Feed your Companion Animals (List)

What Not to Feed your Companion Animals (Fill-in)