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Pet pals

'Vet for a Day' teaches children about animal care

Children lined up with a stethoscope in hand as they early waited to get their chance to exam one patient dog named Betsy.

The Animal Protective Foundation in Scotia hosted the program 'Vet for a Day' on Saturday, Feb. 19, for children from third to eighth grades to get a better understanding of what a future career as a veterinarian would entail and how to properly care for an animal companions they might currently have in their family. Over 20 kids waited to learn about and meet some of the animals at the shelter after their parents dropped them off for the veterinarian boot camp. There were over 75 children that had shown interest in attending the program that day.

[Vet for a Day] is probably our most popular program and we are looking to expand it, but vets are very busy so it is kind of tough, said Kim Jess, organizer of the program at the APF. "Anything with kids I enjoy, because they are so enthusiastic. They have that natural affinity for animals and to know that these are the kids that care and will influence their peers and just help make the world a better place for the animals of the future."

Dr. April Davis led the program and said when she was growing up all she wanted to do was be a veterinarian and work in a clinic. Now she works in a laboratory through her PHD in microbiology and deals with viruses, with one of her studied areas including bats.

"When I was your age I wanted to be a vet. That was all I wanted to be," said Davis. "One option is to work in a clinic, but there are so many other options."

Davis prepared the children for the long road of schooling ahead of them by explaining they would need 8 years worth of college education to reach their PHD to become a veterinarian. Getting a master's degree in a particular field they are interested within animal care she said is also a good idea.

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