BARK helping to avoid more dog attacks
A charity is doing what it can to avoid more dog attacks.
BARK NZ will be visiting Te Poi School soon.
New Zealand’s only registered children’s charity, which was dedicated to dog safety and animal assisted education, runs a Dogwise Kiwi Kids program to provide hands-on tools and experience to empower children to keep themselves dog safe, the director Heather Laanbroek said.
‘‘We believe that most child dog bites are avoidable and education is the key to achieving a reduction,’’ she said.
‘‘Our programs are carefully structured to deliver ageappropriate and audience specific messages using animal-assisted education.’’
She said they are designed to complement the Te Whariki early learning curriculum and the National School Curriculum’s learning objectives.
BARK NZ has a team of volunteers who shared varied skills and expertise such as educators (ELC and Primary teachers), coaches, mentors, trainers and business professionals.
‘‘Our volunteers are very passionate about being part of the solution towards reducing one of New Zealand’s highest causes of avoidable injuries against our children.’’
They also assist many families that deal with a debilitating fear of dogs which is called Cynophobia. ‘‘It is a very special thing to be able to give back somebody’s freedom by providing them with knowledge and tools to have confidence in everyday situations.’’
The three-year-old charity was 100 per cent volunteer-run and self-funded.
It undertakes on average 7-10 visits per week and have so far reached more than 20,000 children throughout the North Island.
‘‘We have working collaborations with many educational partners and are often called upon as industry leaders to provide information and insight regarding the nation’s child dog bite statistics.
‘‘We are continually growing and are very proud to be able to do so much good with zero funding.’’
The group would be visiting Te Poi School on July 6.
The school’s principal Linda Larsen said she was aware of the high number of dog attacks, which was part of the reason she invited the group.
BARK director Heather Laanbroek believes that most child dog bites are avoidable and education is the key to achieving a reduction.