This holiday season, gift your pets What Animals Want!

This holiday season, gift your pets What Animals Want!

If you’re holiday shopping for any young pet owners or considering bringing a new animal into your family this holiday season, What Animals Want: The Five Freedoms in Action is the perfect gift to make sure you’re looking after the full range of your animal’s needs.

Part of the Orca Think middle-grade nonfiction series which includes Finding Home and ShelterWhat Animals Want is an animal-care book with a difference. 

All animals need food, water and shelter, but they have social and emotional needs too. Modern science tells us that animals experience a wide range of emotions—from fear and anxiety to friendship and happiness.

What Animals Want introduces young readers to the Five Freedoms, a framework for thinking about their pets’ physical and emotional needs, as well as the welfare of all animals in human care, including farm, exotic and wild animals.

Author Jacqueline Pearce wrote the book in consultation with the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA), an organization internationally recognized for its innovative humane education and animal welfare work.

“In our humane education work, we saw a gap in the animal care books for kids (and for adults too),” said Craig Naherniak, General Manager of Humane Education at the BC SPCA. “Most deal with the physical needs but animals’ emotions aren’t usually addressed.

“Also, most animal welfare groups use a science-based tool called the Five Freedoms to evaluate how well the needs of animals in human care are being met, and there were no resources about the Five Freedoms for kids. We wanted to create a book that filled both these gaps, using the science-based animal welfare tool of the Five Freedoms to explore the care needs of animals—including pets, farm animals and captive wildlife.

“My hope for What Animals Want is that youth will gain the skills and confidence to speak for animals by applying a science-based tool to evaluate whether animals are having their true needs met.”

Vancouver-based Jacqueline Pearce has volunteered for the BC SPCA humane education program for many years and has both fostered and adopted many rescued animals with her family. She is the author of 12 books for children and teens, including Dog House Blues and The Truth About Rats, which were written for the BC SPCA Kids Club.

Praise for What Animals Want: The Five Freedoms in Action:

“This comprehensive and up-to-date book has a lot to offer animal lovers who can use its information to bolster their convictions about the need for compassion towards animals, or to share it with anyone concerned about issues frequently in the news. Highly Recommended.”—CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Balanced, up-to-date coverage…Students, teachers, and parents will appreciate these detailed and engaging offerings.”—Booklist

“Highly readable and not preachy…this title will hold meaning for readers all over the world. Recommended.”—School Library Connection

About Orca Book Publishers (

Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher of award-winning, best-selling books in a number of genres. With 1200 active titles in print and digital formats and 95 new titles each year, Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors and bringing them to a wider market.

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