Meet Napier City Council's canine team
Humans are not the only ones working for the Napier City Council these days.
While Harrier hound Lady Venice’s role in the All Ears junior reading programme has been well documented in the past few weeks, there are also four other dogs participating in special programmes run by the NCC Animal Control team.
NCC Animal Control also run dog safety courses, Dogsmart Education, teaching dog safety to children, and Dog Sense, which combines Dogsmart with library time.
The other dogs are; Tara, a nine-year-old American pitbull terrier, Lewis, an eight-year-old poodle lowchen cross who is working with Lady Venice in the Napier Library over these school holidays for Dog Sense, Bear, an 11-year-old mastiff-Great Dane cross who takes part in all the courses, and Lily, a three-year-old Japanese chin Chihuahua.
“Dogs are wonderful animals but knowing how to behave around them is something children and adults, particularly those who haven’t had much to do with them or who have had a bad experience, sometimes need help with,” said Senior Animal Control Officer Liisa Jones.
All the dogs were rescued and belong to Animal Control staff, and all the programmes are free.
Tara and Lily are involved in the bite safety courses which have been run for several years and are available to meter readers and posties. Some rubbish truck workers have also attended the course.
A longer version of the course is offered to animal care and veterinary nursing students at EIT and covers all aspects of dog handling and behaviour, including how different breeds exhibit signs of aggression, how your own body language may be interpreted by different breeds and how to work within a “safety zone”.
Modified versions of this course have also been carried out at some kindergartens in the past.
By having Tara and Lily involved in this course helps show people that whether a dog is small or large, it will react in the same manner, says Liisa, adding that it also teaches people that bad behaviour by a small dog is no more acceptable than it would be by a large dog.
Dogsmart Education was developed by the Christchurch City Council Animal Management Education Team and was adopted by NCC Animal Control in May.
IMAGE CAPTION: From left, Lewis, Lady Venice, Animal Control officer Natalie Morgans, Senior Animal Control officer Liisa Jones, Bear, Lily, Dwayne McOnie, Tara (because of her breed, by law Tara has to wear a muzzle in public).
1 July 2015