The Commonwealth of Australia working through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has awarded funding to AMRRIC (Animal Management in Remote and Rural Indigenous Communities) to develop and roll out the Be a Friend to Your Dog Program to 10 remote community schools.
AMRRIC believes that the key to improving animal welfare standards lies in education and empowerment of the local community members to manage their animals themselves, with the help trained indigenous animal management workers and visiting veterinarians.
AMRRIC will be visiting your school and delivering key messages to the students regarding animal welfare, safety around dogs and zoonooses (diseases dogs can pass to people and vice versa) and will leave your school with the Be a Friend to Your Dog pack full of resources to appeal to different age groups and encourage empathy towards animals, a message that the younger students can take home to their families, as well as equip the older students with the knowledge on how to care for their dogs.
Be a friend to your dog
Included in the pack are the following resources:
For children in years 3- 5 or older children with limited literacy
- Facial Recognition Flash Cards – can be used with or without language. Aimed at helping students to empathise with dogs – dogs have feelings too. Leads onto a discussion of what you do when you feel a certain way and what makes you feel better. For younger children or children with little or no English.
- Puppy Maths Colouring Book – emphasises what can happen if you don’t get your female dog desexed – younger children can colour in the pictures
- Be a Friend to Your Dog - A picture book aimed at young children showing them the correct way to carry a dog
- The Dogs’ Needs relay race - Students have to correctly identify a dog’s need and run and fetch it This game reiterates what is necessary to keep a dog happy and healthy - first team to fulfil all their dogs’ needs wins.
- Dogs’ Needs Colouring in sheets - everything a dog needs to be happy and healthy
- Doggy Doggy Don’t Eat Me - One person plays the Doggy and the rest of the group try to get close to him/her. This game emphasises dog body language and the appropriate response of body language from the students. It also makes being nice to the Doggy a strategy for winning the game, reinforcing the message of kindness to animals.
For older children up to high school age
- Recognising Feelings - identifying emotions and understanding that animals share a lot of our emotions recognising similarities and differences.
- Dog Health Resource Project – literacy and numeracy skills for ages 10 – 12+. Includes designing and writing a pamphlet based on the discussion with the AMRRIC visitor which will include 10 things that good pet owners do for their animals. The discussion/lesson includes calculating the cost of keeping a dog (addition and fractions) and how many puppies your dog can have (multiplication)
- Dog Census – Healthy Dogs Healthy Community - Students use Excel spreadsheets to do a survey of community dogs. They use this to assist the vet with their dog program. The community are also alerted to the services on offer.
For older children, teachers, teacher’s aides and other community members:
- Kids and Dogs – an easy to read booklet/powerpoint with lots of pictures to help identify some of the zoonotic diseases that can pass from dogs to students and how to avoid them. Emphasising that healthy dogs = healthy communities
- Caring for Dogs, Community and Country– a DVD that is an educational resource for Aboriginal Communities in Australia about looking after dogs, people, country and environmental health. The DVD covers treating ticks, fleas, worms, desexing, preventing skin sores and safety around dogs. This DVD is suitable for all ages and covers the basics of keeping your dog and yourself healthy.