Don’t Get Bit, Be A Tree!

Dog bites are a serious problem for children. Statistics show that half of all children have been bitten by a dog. Most bites are by the family dog or other dogs known to the child, and the face is the most common bite site. It is very traumatic to be bitten and many children fear dogs for the rest of their lives as a result of these childhood incidents. Teachers, ask your students how many of them have been bitten, you will be shocked and will see first-hand why something must be done about this.

We at Hillcrest Animal Hospital feel that education is the best way to reduce dog bite risks. Through Darlene Cannon, one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians, we offer a presentation for students and other groups of children, called the “Be A Tree” program. This program was developed by a Non-Profit Organization called Doggone Safe and is presented to students across North America.

We would like to offer this fun-filled course to any group of children from the ages of 4 to 9 years. In particular classes of students from JK to Grade 3 would benefit from this presentation. This course is free of charge and can be held either at our hospital or within a classroom or meeting hall/gymnasium setting.

Darlene Cannon teaching a group of kindergarten students

This is a highly regarded and fun way to empower children with the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe around dogs. The children will learn to read a dog’s body language and act safely around them, while playing games and having fun!

The third week of May is Dog Bite Prevention Week, and Doggone Safe has challenged its presenters to collaboratively educate 50,000 children in the month of May using their “Be A Tree” program. Please sign up for the challenge so your students can be a part of this exciting, international event!

If you are interested in participating in the month of May or any other time please contact Darlene Cannon at Hillcrest Animal Hospital by phone: 613-394-4811, or by email at

Thanks for taking the time to read about our program, and we look forward to setting up a time to meet with your group of kids!