Funded by the Northern Territory Animal Welfare Branch training, workshops were delivered to Animal Management Workers (AMWs) by AMRRIC consultants and staff at both Tiwi Islands and in Darwin. In the Melville Island community of Milikapiti, AMWs Ningle Galatara, Deidre Leichleitner, John Pilakai, Jason Joran and Shannon Cook were trained in dog behaviour and body language. The AMWs combined classroom learning with practical observation of community dogs, and gained hands-on experience dispensing treatment for parasites and informing community members about the dog health program.
The AMRRIC presentation covers why we have dogs, what they do for us (eg hunting, protection, assistance dogs), why dogs are “cheeky” (aggressive), and how to assess when you are in danger from a dog. Dr Stephen Cutter, who has extensive involvement with and experience of dog health programs in remote communities, contributed a wealth of knowledge on safe handling and restraint for capture and transportation of dogs for veterinary treatment.
MOPRA (Milingimbi Outstation Progress and Resource Association) rangers travelled to Darwin to receive training. AMRRIC staff, East Arnhem Shire ABA-funded AMW Neil Djandjan, and MOPRA Crocodile Island Rangers Sammy Gupupungyu, Fabian Gakaymungu and Lenard Bowaynu visited Ark Animal Hospital to learn about veterinary procedures, dog behaviour, breed recognition and what dogs have been bred to do in the past. The session gave the AMRRIC AMWs and MOPRA employees the chance to interact with trained dogs and to see the difference training can make to the way people and dogs interact.