Responsible pet ownership is important for all members of the family to abide by – even the littlest ones – and Sunshine Coast Council is on a mission to make the practice fun for everyone to learn and uphold.
Council’s next fun and colourful responsible pet ownership pop-up event with Division 3 Councillor Peter Cox and pet education staff is on this Wednesday (November 7) from 2-3pm at Beach Access 260 Ballinger Beach.
Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council staff were busier than ever undertaking proactive pet education and awareness programs and events for all ages across the Sunshine Coast.
“We have recently started a new Pet Education for Kids Program aimed at three to five-year-olds and have been contacting child care centres and kindergartens region-wide interested in taking part in this fun, free initiative,” Cr McKay said.
“As we come closer to Christmas, the importance of these education programs becomes clear, with a significant increase in the number of dogs and cats ending up at the pound.
“Often this is because people are just not aware of the responsibilities of owning a pet, but the numbers really start to add up over the summer season with storms and fireworks frightening animals and families going on holidays leaving pets with friends or relatives.
“Dog attacks on children may also rise following the increase in roaming dogs as well as visitors to the region being unaware of leash rules.”
Cr McKay said while responsible pet ownership was a very serious matter, that didn’t mean it couldn’t be enjoyable to learn and understand at a young age.
“As part of council’s new pet education program, our staff engage the children in an interactive presentation about how to be a responsible pet owner so their animal does not get lost or hurt and provide tips on how to stay safe around our furry friends,” she said.
“Often it’s the young kids who get the most out of our education programs as they carry these important skills on into adulthood and also regularly go about teaching the rest of their family how to be responsible owners.
“But those over five don’t miss out! Council also runs Petpep educational programs in primary schools throughout the Sunshine Coast, along with microchipping days, barking dog seminars and roaming pop up education events.”
For further information about council’s pet education programs, visit council’s website.