Students Spread Awareness, Compassion for Shelter Animals

Service Learning Project Finds Animal Lovers Helping Advocate for Unwanted Pets

Globe University-Appleton veterinary technician program students spent several hours at Saving Paws Animal Rescue Inc. in an attempt to better understand the owner-pet bond and influence better outcomes for pet owners in our community.

Saving Paws Animal Rescue, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing homeless, abandoned and special needs animals in Northeast Wisconsin. The no-kill shelter representatives were able to enhance students’ understanding of the resources, time and labor it takes to care for the community’s unwanted animal population. Students also gained insight into how they could influence a community’s awareness of this problem.

While there, students learned how much time and money it actually takes to care for pets that are abandoned by their breeders and owners. They assisted with clean-up and daily care for the animals.

Veterinary technology program faculty member Barb Janiak noted that they worked hard at the shelter and it is not always easy work.

“One of the key outcomes of the project was the realization that the over-population of
our pets is a human problem and that our job, within veterinary medicine, is to educate owners on responsible ownership and strengthen the pet-owner bond so pets are able to stay in their homes,” Janiak said, “Some learned behaviors are very difficult to overcome and therefore some pets cannot be placed in a home, so they live out their lives at a no-kill shelter such as Saving Paws.”

Perhaps the most important part of the project was completed after the initial visit to the shelter, where students were asked to reflect on their experience and share it with others. Through projects such as these, Globe University students hope to increase awareness and compassion for animals that go unwanted and left at shelters.