At several schools in our district, including Freedom and Sumner High, the Veterinary Programs offer Doggy Daycare.
Staff can bring their dogs in for a day of grooming and exercise while the students get hands-on experience caring for pups and running a business.
“While it may look like fun and games, this is setting the students up for a career,” said Jordan Hernandez, agriculture teacher at Sumner High. “They learn how to clip nails, clean eyes and flush ears of dogs from ages of 6 months old all the way up to the senior years.”
The students love how each day brings them a new learning experience.
“I’ve wanted to be a vet ever since I was a little girl,” said Alexis Alvarez, a vet assisting student at Sumner High. “I feel like this will help me accomplish what I want to be.”
“We can learn things on stuffed animals and watch training videos all day in the classroom, but can’t be truly comfortable working in the vet world until they practice those skills,” said Hernandez. “It’s here where students get that one-on-one experience with a six-month old lab who’s trying to lick them in the face and run away.”
Beyond the fun of grooming dogs, students get to practice their skills while earning the 500 hours they need for certification. In addition, the students are providing a critical service fro the dogs’ mental health.
“Dogs are starting to experience anxiety now that their owners are going back to work,” said Alicia Newcome, agriculture teacher at Freedom High. "This offers them an opportunity to get out of the house and expel some of that anxious energy while receiving social interaction with others.”