Talk teaches kids how to act with dogs (+video)

By Shauni James

1 comment

Helping kids stay safe around dogs will be the focus of an upcoming talk at the Rotorua Library.

Rotorua Lakes Council animal control supervisor Kevin Coutts will give tomorrow's talk - along with his dog Lucy - as part of the children's holiday programme.

This follows a number of dog attacks throughout the country in recent weeks.

The Rotorua Daily Post reported yesterday there were 30 dog attacks reported in Rotorua in 2015 which resulted in puncture marks or bites.

ACC figures for 2015 show there were 320 new claims for dog bites from the Rotorua district.

There had been 13 dog attacks this year so far, with four of them by American pitbulls, Mr Coutts said.

He said statistics showed American pitbulls were over-represented in attacks on people.

"We wouldn't have dog bites if owners were responsible. It all comes down to owner responsibility.

"I've never been to a dog job where it's the dog's fault," he said.

"It is the owner's fault the dog is in that situation."

Mr Coutts said education was extremely important, and with young children he based his talk on how to prevent getting bitten.

Aspects he went over included how to pat dogs and to ask the owner's permission, with the main thing he pushed being "if a dog is on its own, leave it alone".

- The talk starts at 10.30am in the library's Haupapa Room and is suitable for ages 3 and up. Email library@rotorualc.nz or call (07) 348 4177 to register.

- For video of Kevin Coutts talking about the topic go to rotoruadailypost.co.nz.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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