Sugarland Animal Hospital held Nearly a Vet workshops over the weekend, with almost 100 local children attending to learn about what it takes to become a vet.
It's the second year the hospital has run the successful event, with award-winning children’s author Rebecca Johnson as presenter.
Rebecca is an Australian author and primary-school science teacher who has written more than 100 children's books.
Her works include the Steve Parish Story Book collection, the Juliet – Nearly a Vet series, the Insect series, and the Steve Parish Reptiles and Amphibians Story Book range.
“The staff from Sugarland Animal Hospital contacted me last year to ask if I might be able to come to Bundaberg, as they saw my Nearly a Vet workshops running around Brisbane,” said Rebecca.
“The most important thing we teach at the workshops is that it is never okay to be cruel to animals, and that if you have a pet, you must treat it well.
“Vets do everything they can to help our animals and there is a lot more to being a vet than kids might think.
“It’s a great opportunity for parents and children to really see what goes on behind the scenes at a big vet clinic like Sugarland.
“The more kids learn about a pet’s needs and how it needs to be treated, the more likely they will be to be kind to their pets and give them the things they need to be safe and well.”
Sugarland Animal Hospital Veterinary Surgeon Dr Marianne Curran co-presented the workshops alongside Rebecca.
“The workshop allows us to send a very important message to young children about how to appropriately interact with pets, in a really fun and engaging way,” said Dr Curran.
“We also get the kids excited about science and the pathways this can provide into a career and future working with animals.”
During the workshop children were also given a guided tour of the animal hospital.
“The tour is always one of the highlights for the kids, I think it’s important they get to see what goes on when their pet is left at the vets and see that it is not scary at all when we have to take their pets ‘out the back',” Dr Curran said.
“This also helps us foster a positive relationship between children and the vet and helps educate them about why it is important that their pets get looked after regularly by a veterinarian.
“During the tour we show them some really cool things such as various x-rays of different species of pets, how our in-house lab works with the various equipment such as microscopes and blood analysis machines as well as our surgical areas, which helps showcase some really interesting areas of science and what we do.”
The Nearly a Vet workshop was tailored to children aged between 5 and 12 years old and had a strong focus on responsible pet ownership.
Mykeala Campanini, Marketing Manager at Sugarland Animal Hospital, organised the workshops both years and said she hoped to keep them running annually.
“I think it is so important to educate the kids in our region about responsible pet ownership and interaction from a young age, and what better way to do that than in a real veterinary environment”, said Mykeala.
“We have sold out the workshops each year and are very happy with the community support for this event, which we hope to keep running each year.”
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