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Kids learning to care for pets

Kids learning to care for pets

Kids are like sponges; they absorb what they are taught so the best way to bring up a child that cares for animals is to teach him at any early age how to be kind and gentle towards animals.

That’s the philosophy the Cottage Vet team took to Danie Ackermann Primary School where, together with our colleagues from Country Animal Clinic, EberVet Pet Clinic and EberVet Vetshops, we helped more than 200 Grade 1 children understand that animals are not to be feared, but loved and care for just like humans.

Dr Ingrid de Wet of Country Animal Clinic, wife of our own Dr Morné, took her dog Alvin along as the demo model. Alvin always behaves beautifully and is very well trained. Some of the kids were nervous any first but by the end of our visit they were happily patting Alvin and handing him treats.

Kids learn about kindness

In addition to Dr Ingrid’s lesson the children were each handed a Hero in my Hood colouring-in book and a packet of crayons. The colouring-in book teaches kids about kindness to animals.

“We helped the children understand that we are like animals and that they are like us, and we need to treat them with the same empathy and compassion and understanding. We believe that this in turn teaches children how to treat each other,” Dr Ingrid said.

A secondary focus was to help children read animals’ body language, in particular dogs, to avoid potential dog bites. The children were also schooled in rabies prevention as rabies is a growing issue in the Western Cape.

“A very special moment was when one very frightened little boy named Alvin (the same name as my dog) got to accept that not all dogs are to be feared. By the end of our visit, he was feeding the dog treats.”

This initiative is part of the EberVet Group’s Community Impact Projects (CIP) programme which hosts four community projects per year – educational, environmental, social and animal. “Our company believes that we have a responsibility not only towards animals but to communities too; to assist where we can, to build and uplift,” said EberVet CEO Dr Hilldidge Beer.

“The Grade Ones of today are going to be tomorrow’s changemakers. We like to believe that by sharing our knowledge with them they will think differently about animals and about each other,” Dr Ingrid said.


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