Program teaches children how to be safe around dogs - KCTV5

Program teaches children how to be safe around dogs

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The program aims to teach children how to be safe around dogs, as well as exposing them to veterinary medicine. (KCTV) The program aims to teach children how to be safe around dogs, as well as exposing them to veterinary medicine. (KCTV)
SHAWNEE, KS (KCTV) -

A lot of children love dogs, but they don't always know how to behave around them in a safe way, so a new program in Shawnee is working to change that.

A dog named Stella was hanging out with children at the Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City on Thursday. It just so happens her owner is a veterinarian and, together, they are teaching children all about how to have good manners around dogs.

Smiles filled the room when Stella walked in. Most of the children reacted as most people would and immediately went to pet her.

Dr. Nancy McClain, D.V.M. at Fairway Animal Hospital, said they skipped step one of animal etiquette: “Asking if you can pet a dog. Not every dog wants to be touched.”

Stella loved it so no harm was done, but Dr. McClain said not every dog will.

That’s why Jill Heer brought the girls she babysits to the museum.

“I think, a lot of times, kids don’t really understand pets,” Heer said. “They just want to go hug them and wrap arms around them like that, so this is a great opportunity to teach them how to interact with an animal.”

The children that come to the vet program learn more than just how to be safe around our four-legged friends. For 7-year-old Josephine Beckley, it could one day turn into a career.

She wants to be a vet and even got to listen to Stella’s heartbeat. She said that, after that experience, she’ll definitely be back. “Her heartbeat was a little faster than a human’s heartbeat,” she said.

It is a fun way for children to be to be introduced to the field of veterinary medicine, which can spark them to pursue it as a career path when they grow up.

You can see Stella and educate your children every other Thursday at the museum through July. To learn more about Wonderscope, click here.

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