Posted by Michelle Tanner
Dog attacks in New Zealand have risen steadily over the last ten years reaching nearly 11,000 in 2016. We know many of the victims are children.
So, when Rotary Matamata were asked if they would be interested in purchasing books for primary schools and kindergartens designed to teach children about keeping safe around dogs Public Image Director Krishna Narayanasami immediately saw the potential of the project.
With the full support of the club 50 books were purchased. The first school to receive books was Matamata Primary School. Rotarians Krishna Narayanasami, Sheryl Ertel and President Michelle Tanner presented six books for the school library at a school assembly. Deputy Principal Peter Miers was as enthusiastic as the Rotarians about the book, testing children on ‘happy or unhappy’ dog behaviour. He told the pupils “I’ve already learned some things I did not know”
How to Keep Kids Safe with Dogs was written by advanced dog obedience trainer Pauline Bloomfield who was concerned about how many children approached her own Alsatian dog in an uninhibited and potentially dangerous manner.
Rotarians are distributing the books throughout the Matamata area during 2017, coordinated by Rotarian Miranda Thomson. Michelle said “I have been so impressed with the reception we have had from the schools and am confident that the children (and teachers!) will learn heaps from the books. If we can prevent just one child having a bad canine experience then the project will have been worth it.”