Local community members brought their pets to the Pierce College Veterinary Technology building to have them vaccinated and implanted with microchips by students of veterinary science.
Once per semester, the program holds the clinic to give students experience working with animals and injections.
“We do this just to provide additional hands-on experience,” said Liz White, director of the Registered Veterinary Technology program. “We get a pretty good turnout. It provides a good service for the community, too.”
Microchips are used by pet owners to find animals who have gone missing. They hold an owner’s contact information as well as the pet’s medical information and can be accessed by a scan if the animal is found.
“It’s a little implant and it has a number and then the number is then registered to an owner,” said White. “So if the cat gets lost, hospitals and owners have a scanner. They scan the cat and the number will come up and they can trace the number to the owner.”
Andrew Gibson, one of the students of the class, provided the injection to a cat owned by another Pierce student.
“It’s about the size of a grain of rice,” said Gibson. “You can see it on an ex-ray. You just stick it under their skin.”
Elyse Wells, a member of the Boots and Saddles Club, brought her cat Petunia for the injection since she has a habit of running out the open door.
“It was very good, very quick, very friendly,” said Wells.
Other animals were brought in for vaccinations and the clinical procedures class offers spay and neuter services every Friday. Students assist Professor Jennifer Adelini, who has worked in the department for three years and provides veterinary oversight for the senior students.
“They’re very enthusiastic and eager to learn,” said Adelini. “It’s really nice to see how interested and excited they are about everything because it’s what they want to be doing.”
The students take turns rotating tasks each week to get experience with every aspect of the process.
“It’s real world experience but with supervision, to kind of ease into that part of their career,” said Adelini. “There’s a lot of nerves involved. It’s nice to watch them become more confident in their work.”
In the summer the RVT program also has an on-site clinic where patients can come for additional dental procedures and general wellness programs. The proceeds from their work go to the Pierce Foundation and can be used to buy supplies and equipment that the department needs.