Veterinary technology students at Minnesota School of Business–St. Cloud like to apply their skills for a good cause each quarter by hosting a pet wash on campus. Lucky dogs receive the royal bath treatment, nail trim and tooth-brushing. In return, their grateful owners usually make a donation to a designated nonprofit organization at the event.
But this quarter’s pet wash to benefit Central Minnesota Animal Care and Control (CMACC) in Sauk Rapids, Minn., was particularly special.
Vet tech instructor Jessica Ostendorf explains, “In January, someone broke in [to the shelter] and stole several cats. In addition, they broke every window in the building during sub-zero temperatures.This not only meant a big clean-up cost, but also a huge increase in their utility bills for all the time that the heater was running with all the windows broken out.”
Heather Plante, a vet tech student volunteer at the pet wash, felt gratified knowing the donations helped CMACC in its time of need.
“The money we gave them helps with these [repair] bills and hopefully gets them closer to being able to get some extra things for the animals.”
The pet wash raised over $300, but Ostendorf emphasizes the overall purpose of the event is beneficial on several levels.
“The dog wash serves as a great applied learning project for our Introduction to Veterinary Technology students. They get to practice their newly learned restraint, bathing, nail trim, ear cleaning, and anal gland expression skills on many different types of dogs, while also knowing that they are helping to raise money for a good cause.”
She adds that pet wash also involves the Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (SCNAVTA) on campus.
“For our SCNAVTA members,” Ostendorf explains, “it is not only a great quarterly event and fundraiser, but it also gives them a chance to provide mentorship to the younger students in the program. And, of course, this project helps prepare all the students for the teamwork, client service and multitasking skills that will be necessary as they graduate and begin their careers in veterinary technology.”
Plante enjoyed being the experienced guide for newer students. “This is the third or fourth dog wash that I attended,” she explains. “I love being able to mentor the younger students and get the hands-on experience.”
Introductory students, Denny Gunderson and Jenna Mousky, appreciated the mentorship from older students and felt they learned a lot and that their peers were very patient.
The pet wash is a winning project all around. But if you want to sign up your pooch, you may have to take a number. The pet wash typically books a full quarter out for the next event.
For more information, contact Jessica Ostendorf at firstname.lastname@example.org.