Veterinary technology students at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud learn a lot about animal anatomy and physiology in the classroom. But when they volunteer to benefit Central Minnesota Animal Care and Control, they also learn hands-on the TLC (tender loving care) needed for pets and their owners.
Tiffany Theis explains the students’ recent on-site project for community partner, Central Minnesota Animal Care and Control.“[The goal was] to administer microchips, trim nails, express anal glands and give a dental brochure to clients about their pet’s teeth status,” Theis said. All services were provided at a discounted rate to the client with any leftover proceeds donated to CMACC.
Microchipping pets is a high-tech way of identifying lost or stolen animals and providing assurance for the owner. There are few risks to the animal, and pet owners have the peace of mind that they have a means of being reunited with their best friend if they are separated. Vet tech students have micro-chipped many pets as part of their college education, including during this microchip event.
Vet Tech students appreciate providing a service to the community and their pets. They also recognize the value in their own learning.
“This experience showed me that at any time something can happen,” Theis reflects. “I need to be ready to handle it in a calm and effective way to ensure the safety and security of the patient. There was a lot that happened that day, and it helped me gain knowledge and insight into [the] everyday life of a veterinary technician.”
Kayte Simonson agrees, “Some things, like anal glands, we have only learned about in books, so doing it at CMACC helped a lot with the understanding of it. All of this will benefit my future career because I will be applying these skills every day.”
The MSB partnership with CMACC is long-standing, and Simpson says she would volunteer again. “It’s nice to help [clients] who don’t know how to do these things for their animals . . . [and] can’t afford vet visits.”
Theis also would return. “It was a good learning experience and a fun day to help out CMACC and see how their facility works.”
Students estimate they helped raise $300-$400 for the organization.
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