Spay Days: A Chance at Life, A Chance to Learn

Globe University-Madison West has built a strong relationship with Dane County Friends of Ferals. Since opening its doors in July 2009, our campus has hosted numerous spay days, giving veterinary technology program students a chance to learn and cats a chance at life.

An idea is born

What started out as a big idea in a small space grew into a strong initiative. Dr. Susan Krebsbach, DVM, founder of Dane County Friends of Ferals explains. “Back in 2001, I was admiring a litter of kittens whose mother was feral. It was known at that time, feral cats who birthed kittens were put down. They get anxious, don’t welcome human attention and are difficult to adopt to indoor homes.” 

Veterinary Technology school

Sheryl Jones, veterinary technology student at Globe University-Madison West checks over patient’s file during surgery.

What grew from that moment was the idea to provide low cost spays to feral cats helping them with a chance at life. Upon receiving a grant to build a TNR program (Trap, Neuter and Return) in Dane County, Friends of Ferals was born.

“I didn’t know anything about feral cats and didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Dr. Krebsbach explained, “But what is so cool are people that got involved when they were students and continue to be involved.”

The Day Begins.

Countless certified veterinarians and technicians as well as students in the veterinary technology field transform classrooms into a clinic. Many of these students are from Globe University-Madison West.

This particular day brought an estimated 60 cats to the campus. All were lined up in the halls ready to receive vaccinations, flea prevention treatments and then prepped for surgery. Then they were whisked into surgery where advanced students monitored anesthesia and assisted in surgery or recovery.

The Beauty of the Experience

“It was one of the first experiences I had getting hands-on work with animals,” shared Crystal Diaz, second quarter veterinary technology student. “It’s hard to teach the pace and urgency to get things done in a classroom, so I really appreciated actually doing it. I learned that communication is key, teamwork is good.” Crystal added. “It felt good to volunteer and able to see the progress of helping these cats.”

Veterinary Technology school

It’s all about teamwork! Veterinary technology students, Katlyn Robertson, Amanda Beach and Rachel Harder, prepare a cat for surgery.

“I learned about the whole procedure itself on how things go and how organized you need to be,” said Katlyn Robertson, student in the veterinary technology program. “Each of us were given different tasks to do, once I’d done it enough, I was able to actually teach another volunteer everything I learned. It was a really neat experience. I would do it again, yes. It was a lot of fun. I like working with people, in groups.”

“The beauty of this experience is to witness these students getting a hands on opportunity and for them to feel like they are giving to the community,” Dr. Krebsbach said. “Hopefully they are having fun, because I’m hoping these students enjoy this (volunteer) experience so much that when they graduate, they continue volunteering.”