Animal Rights - York Middle School: SSC 2015

Subject: Animal Rights, Animal Abuse
Themes: Young Activists 21st Century Environmental Issues
Age groups: Elementary School Middle School
Resource type: Video

Samantha Smith Challenge

York Middle School

Team Puma, Group 4

Grade 7

Scroll down to see the video!

The Issue: Animal Rights

The Question: How do we promote awareness of animal rights and the problems of animal abuse and abandonment? How can we support our local shelter, the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, Maine?

The Solution: The animal rights group will be speaking with all fifth grade students at the York Middle School. We will educate them on animal rights and how to prevent animal abuse. We will also be asking the school community for donations for the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, Maine.

Community Partners and Stakeholders:

  • York's Wild Animal Kingdom (attempted)
  • Animal Welfare Society, Kennebunk, Maine
  • Fifth grade teachers

Facts and Research that Influenced Your Thinking:

  • If you suspect abuse-Contact the Animal Welfare Program in Augusta at 287-3846 or toll-free 1-877-269-9200. You can also e-mail them at
  • Studies have shown that when there is domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse or any type of human violence in the home, there often is or has been animal abuse as well.
  • Research on puppy mills, circus/zoo animals, dog fighting, poaching, and illegal hunting.

Plan of Action:

  • The animal rights group visited the Animal Welfare Society on April 9, 2015. They were given a tour and taught how to make treats for the animals there. They were educated on animal abuse, abandonment, and the conditions of the shelters in southern United States.
  • The group has created a presentation for the fifth grade students at York Middle School which they will present in May.
  • They have also created flyers asking for donations of items that are currently on the Animal Welfare Society's wish list.


All students gained knowledge of animal laws in Maine and ways to spot abuse or neglect.

Ongoing support needed:

The students need to complete their presentations to the fifth graders, collect the donations, and bring the donations to the Animal Welfare Society.


Jackson Forbes Abby Bourgeois

Jessa Fitzgerald Betsey Greene

Dyamond Dempsey Hannah Newcombe

Austin Fisher Joelle Shipman

Lila Sewall Tyler Donnell

Sophia Ruland Emma Runte

Olivia Linehan Jessie Paquet

Pari Kim

Teacher: Mrs. Nancy Lindbom, Social Studies Teacher, Puma Team

Names of people who made the video: The whole group!

Thoughts about this experience:

"I learned that if you help a problem in the community now you would probably remember it when you grow up and you could do it through your lifetime."-Tyler Donnell

"I learned it doesn't take that many people to make a difference. We were a group of 15 and we are working toward helping animals in the Kennebunk Animal Welfare Society" -Betsy Greene

"I learned that if there is a problem in your community, you need to take charge and not just stand by and watch bad things happen." -Hannah Newcombe