Heather Schmid, Executive Director of the Coulee Region Humane Society, is a terrific partner to Globe University-La Crosse’s Veterinary Technician program.
Q: Why is it important for students in a vet tech program to volunteer at humane societies and animal shelters?
A: Experience is important for anyone pursuing a degree and eventually career!
Specifically for Vet Tech students, experience at a humane society or animal shelter provides a very different experience than working at a veterinary clinic (though this is of equal importance).
A humane society or animal shelter environment is one in which population management is of utmost importance. Caring for a large population is very different than caring for owned pets. For example, disease management is top priority as disease can spread quickly in this setting if not controlled. Animals entering a humane society often are affected by stress of the unknown, by the many people who come and go, and by the animals they now need to co-exist with. Stress clearly affects their immune system and often times, weakens it making them more susceptible to contracting a disease. Communicable diseases are not a shelter’s friend as they can quickly spread if not contained and as a result, place, at best, challenging constraints on space, and at worst cause heart wrenching euthanasia decisions.
In summary, volunteering at a humane society or animal shelter can provide an experience that simply cannot be matched: animal handling skills, interpersonal skills, education about the challenges of animals and overpopulation, the emotional strife that is endured almost daily by those advocating for homeless animals, and of course the joy in witnessing animal adoptions and reunions with their family is all provided when making the decision to volunteer!
If you’re a community member that would like to share advice with Globe students, or know someone who would, please contact Brady Lowe. He’d be happy to hear from you!
Follow Brady Lowe, Community Relations and Communications with Globe University-La Crosse, as he collects advice from Globe community partners to share with students!