“I love the smell of wet dogs in the morning,” is not a quote you hear very often.
Every quarter at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud, the veterinary technology students host a dog wash event open to the public, and every time, the demand is overwhelming. Dogs are brought in to be washed and groomed, including nail trimming and teeth examinations.
To help with the dog wash, first quarter students are mentored by experienced students in the art of anal gland expression as well as proper nail trimming technique. This latest event brought in around 30 dogs last Saturday, and all donations received from the event go towards the area animal shelters.
In assisting with the dental overview, vet tech instructor Michelle Booth had students from her Dentistry and Clinical Practices class on hand to apply the learning that took place in the classroom. The students examined each of the dogs’ teeth and explained to the clients the importance of dental health.
The students also taught the clients how to brush their dog’s teeth as well what clinical signs to look for if the dog may be having issues with their mouth. Each student also made a dental brochure to give to the clients.
Jessica Ostendorf, vet tech program chair, recounts some of her experiences with the quarterly dog washes:
We first started the dog wash in Winter 2013. We had no idea what we were getting into! We saw around 50 dogs and raised $600 that was divided and donated to Tri-County Humane Society (TCHS), Central Minnesota Animal Care and Control (CMACC) and Homeward Bound Dog Rescue.
Both the public and the students loved the experience, so we kept doing it. Of course, we got smarter about scheduling, so although we don’t make as much money at one time, we are able to do a better job in a shorter amount of time.
At our second dog wash, we donated over $600 to Relay For Life. The next couple washes, we kept some money to use for various SCNAVTA events and continued to donate the rest to animal shelters.
At one of the dog washes, we used $200 to buy materials to make blankets for the pets at TCHS. Then, last winter, CMACC got broken into. All the windows were busted, which left the heat running all night during sub-zero temperatures. So, we donated over $300 from our Winter 2014 dog wash to CMACC to help with the cost of their building repairs.
Our Spring 2014 dog wash funds were used to purchase a dryer so that we could keep the dogs looking great without having to borrow one every quarter.
For Summer 2014, we donated $125 to TCHS for their Annual Companion Walk and used the rest of the money to purchase candy for MSB’s annual trunk-or-treat event. Next, we plan to continue to split funds between the animal shelters and the student association. We are already saving for a second dryer to improve the process!
Also, we will be donating money to a big event that will be happening next spring: the First Annual Bark For Life in the Greater St. Cloud area! It will be held May 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wilson Park in St. Cloud.
Bark For Life benefits the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life. This event is unique because it features a one-mile walk with both human and canine cancer survivors and caregivers. Our theme for this year is superheroes, so we expect to see many people and animals in costume!
There will be many more details to come soon, but if anyone is interested in starting a fundraising team or would like more information, you can contact Jessica Ostendorf and join our Facebook page at Bark for Life of St. Cloud.