Eight-year-old musical prodigy Claudia, driven by love of animals, saves dog and possum

Claudia Paterson, who wants to be a musician and a vet, has recently saved the lives of two animals.

The eight-year-old Griffith girl who lives on a property with dogs, chickens and fish found a strange creature in her backyard. 

“I saw what I thought was a rat struggling for life on the ground. I was scared so told my brother to pick it up, and put it in a box of tissues.”

Finally identifying the creature as a possum, she fed it milk to keep it alive before getting the injury animal to the vet. 

“I have read about WIRES [NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.], and I knew they look after wildlife, so I got my mum to call them.”

Weeks earlier Claudia had saved the life of her pet dog Sammy, who had eaten rat poison in their shed. 

“One day, I just noticed he wasn’t himself. He was limping, looking lethargic and coughing. I went and saw mum and told her we just have to do something,” Claudia said. 

Her mum Elizabeth immediately took Sammy to the vet, who confirmed the poisoning.

Thanks to Claudia’s intervention, Sammy was treated early enough is now recovering. 

Claudia is passionate about animals, and distressed about recent news reports of animal cruelty

“If you choose to have animals, you really should look after them. I think anyone who harms an animal should be put in jail. I mean, if they can hurt an animal, who’s to say they won’t harm a person next.”

Claudia’s other love is music, she has been playing the piano for two years, practices everyday and has already mastered a number of classical songs. 

It’s worth noting Claudia Paterson’s profile, as we expect big things from her in the future. 

Name: Claudia Paterson

Age: 8 

Parents: Angus and Elizabeth

Brother: Digby 

School: St Patrick’s

Languages spoken: English, Italian (beginner)

Special skills: Sings, plays the piano, writer, artist

Hero: Mary Gonzo, my neighbour and Italian teacher

Preferred musical style: Classical 

Favourite sport: ​Netball 

Predicted future career: Concert pianist and vet

The Area News would like to cast the spotlight on children in the MIA doing something inspirational – winning an award, breaking a record, being generous or innovative, or mastering an instrument and saving the lives of animals. If you know a child who fits the bill, please email details to oliver.jacques@fairfaxmedia.com.au.