WSWHE BOCES launches Small Animal Science program – The Saratogian

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N. Y. — WSWHE BOCES is offering a new program for the 2022-2023 school year in which students are learning the ins and outs of small animal science.

Dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs can be found in one special classroom at the F. Donald Myers Education Center in Saratoga Springs, where instructor Carter Stevens is teaching the school’s first-ever Small Pet Science program.

A group of about 20 high school juniors hailing from throughout the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex region started the new course in September and will graduate from it in 2024 as certified veterinary assistants.

The two-year program is based on national industry standards, with Cornell University veterinary curriculum used as the guide for developing topics, along with lessons learned through industry experience.

The course focuses on canine, feline, pocket pets and exotic animals, with an overview of large creatures too.

Students will learn safety, handling, animal behavior, pet first aid (including CPR), animal rights and welfare as well as animal anatomy, physiology and reproduction.

In their second year, the students will have the opportunity to practice their skills in the real world while interning at clinics, shelters and grooming facilities that are eager to have the extra help.

Jared Davis, the lead principal for Career plus Technical Education Center in WSWHE BOCES, explained that the demand for pet services in the area is steadily increasing, and the new program aims to meet the need for employees within the pet industry, including positions such as groomers, trainers, vet technicians and veterinarians.

Furthermore, “We are always striving to expand our offerings to students in a particular career cluster, ” Davis said. “We have our horse care program for students interested in working with animals and sought another option that would expand the particular opportunities for area students looking to work with animals in a different way. The small animal science system fits that bill. ”

Program graduates will have the option to enter the workforce right away or pursue further studies. Stevens said most of the college students in her current class are interested in careers in the veterinary medicine field. “So this class is giving them a head start on those skills that will help them apply for college or be ready to enter the workforce with some entry-level animal science skills, ” she said.

Area clinics are already excited about hiring the BOCES learners, Stevens reported, noting that many are understaffed right now. “We’re hoping to help fill that labor shortage, ” she said.

The program is already partnering with shelters and rescue organizations like Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist (H. O. P. E. ) and Hop on Home Rabbit Sanctuary by fostering animals. “We’re trying to play a small part in helping the community out by getting some pets more socialized and adoptable, ” Stevens said, adding that she is hoping to make more connections with local partners like this in the future.

Student Madisyn Awilow of Schuylerville stated she is enjoying her first few weeks in the Small Animal Science class. “This program is a really good opportunity for kids to get in the field, ” the girl said, noting that the lady especially likes the independence she gets while dealing with the animals.

In addition to being a brand new program, this class is the first of its kind to be offered to local students. “It’s really cool to be able to start your own program, plus I’m very proud of the hard work that I put in, and that the kids are matching that will energy – because they’re rockstars and they’re putting in the same energy that I am, ” Stevens said, “so collaboratively I think we can lead them to really cool places in life. ”

More information about the Small Animal Science plan at WSWHE BOCES is available online at https://careerandteched.edlioschool.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=2758534&type=d&pREC_ID=2300960 .

  • Students in the WSWHE BOCES Small Animal Science Program care...

    Students in the WSWHE BOCES Small Animal Science Program care for a puppy in their classroom. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • Student Morgan Catalfamo examines a rabbit in the Small Animal...

    Student Morgan Catalfamo examines a rabbit in the Small Pet Science Program at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • A student examines a guinea pig in the Small Animal...

    A student examines a guinea pig within the Small Animal Science Program at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • A student in the Small Animal Science Program smiles while...

    A student in the Small Animal Science Program smiles while interacting with a cat during class at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • A student examines a rabbit in the Small Animal Science...

    A student examines the rabbit in the Small Pet Science Program at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan — Medianews Group)

  • Carter Stevens is the instructor of the new Small Animal...

    Carter Stevens is the instructor of the new Small Animal Science System at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • Animals are part of the classroom in the Small Animal...

    Animals are part of the class room in the Small Animal Technology Program at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • The new Small Animal Science Program is popular with students...

    The new Small Animal Science Program is popular with students at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • Carter Stevens is the instructor of the new Small Animal...

    Carter Stevens is the instructor of the new Small Animal Science Program from WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • Carter Stevens is the instructor of the new Small Animal...

    Billings Stevens is the instructor of the new Small Animal Science Program at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

  • Animals are part of the classroom in the Small Animal...

    Animals are part of the classroom in the Small Pet Science Program at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan : Medianews Group)

  • A new Small Animal Science Program was introduced for the...

    A new Little Animal Science Program was introduced for the 2022-2023 school year at WSWHE BOCES. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)

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