Heidi Suarez Rivera speaks to the students, accompanied by her dogs Sadie, left, and Hendrix.

Youngsters in East End got an entertaining introduction to pet care and animal welfare this week.

On Monday, Feb. 20, the KidsCare team was invited to speak at East End Primary School’s assembly.

“The students had already received our PetZone magazine, and so we were able to highlight aspects of the magazine and spent time going over the importance of the five freedoms,” said Kiralee Harnett, who heads the program along with Sabrina Stecyk.

KidsCare’s visits, which include weekly class visits to a number of primary schools on island, introduce children to the “five freedoms” of animal welfare: freedom from hunger and thirst, from pain and injury, freedom to express normal behavior, freedom from discomfort and from fear and distress. Visits also cover showing children how to properly approach animals and basic care fundamentals.

“Heidi Suarez Rivera and her amazing duo, Hendrix and Sadie, then entertained the students, showing the kids how training your pets with positive methods is always the better way to do so,” said Ms. Harnett.

“The kids loved all the tricks and asked us some great questions.”

Ms. Harnett and Ms. Stecyk say they are very pleased with how the first issue of PetZone magazine has been received on island in the schools and community, and are looking forward to finalizing the second issue in the near future.