President Garth Rowsell spoke with our Club about his President's Project for this Rotary year.

The Lloydminster SPCA is looking to take a bite out of dog-related injuries among children, and with a little help from a Rotary Club they are well on their way.

Shelly Zimmerman, Lloydminster SPCA executive director, and Jennifer Anderson, Lloydminster SPCA public relations coordinator, were presented a cheque at Monday’s Rotary meeting for $5,000 to help fund a dog bite prevention education program, aimed at keeping kids safe around dogs.

“It teaches children the tools they need to keep themselves safe around dogs,” said Zimmerman. “The majority of dog bites in an emergency room are children and a majority of them are by owned dogs, which is something not a lot of people realize.”

The money donated to the program came courtesy of the Lloydminster Rotary Club’s President’s project as current president Garth Rowswell made the donation. Rowswell said he asked city mayor Jeff Mulligan for a suggestion and was led to the SPCA.

The dog bite education program is aimed at school-aged children, who count for a large portion of emergency room visits relating to dog injuries

“People really need to how to keep themselves safe when living with dogs,” said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman said the Rotary Club approached them and asked what they needed funding for, which led to the recommendation of the bite prevention education program.

“Rotary club’s donation is enabling us to bring the program into the community,” said Zimmerman. “It can be geared to children aged four to 14, so it is very versatile.”

With the funding Zimmerman said the SPCA will be able to offer funding for up to 40 programs in places throughout the area, as the local SPCA is the humane society for the immediate region.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for quite some time,” said Zimmerman. “Since my time at the shelter it has been a major priority.”

It takes two staff to run the program and has already been done at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Lloydminster and E.S. Laird and there is a planned trip to Onion Lake to do the program at two elementary schools.

The funding covers the costs of purchasing the materials for the program, as well as printing the materials for the program and paying for the staff to provide it.