Kids pet education program kicks off

Children from Bella Grace Early Learning Centre participate in council''s Pet Education for Kids program presented by Hannah Maloney.

A Pet Education for Kids program has begun on the Sunshine Coast in the hope of reducing the number of dog bite injuries.

The program, run by Sunshine Coast Council, has been designed to help children understand how to interact with dogs safely.

The free program is offered to all Sunshine Coast childcare centres, preschools and kindergartens with children aged between 3-5 years.

Presented by council’s pet education officer, with the help of Sunny the cat and Sasha the dog, the fun and interactive presentation teaches children about being a responsible pet owner and how to avoid being bitten by a dog.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council was committed to promoting responsible pet ownership and helping to keep kids safe from dog attacks.

“Sadly, there are hundreds of children across Australia who are victims of dog bite injuries each year, and most children are bitten at home by their family dog,” Cr McKay said.

“Children under five are most at risk, which is why our Pet Education for Kids program is designed especially for young children.”