When the staff at Brook Farm Veterinary Center in Patterson call a doctor to the treatment floor this summer, they may be in for a bit of a surprise! Measuring at about four feet tall with ages between seven and eleven years old, their “junior veterinarians” are the newest addition to their dedicated team. These kids will be involved in the practice’s initiative to teach community children about animal health and wellness and encourage careers in veterinary medicine at an early age.
Brook Farm’s Junior Veterinary Cemp, which is being held in several sessions between July and August, brings interested youth behind the scenes at a fully equipped animal hospital to learn about pet care and safety. To earn their 'degree,' students will be taught how to understand different pets’ personalities and learn how to identify signs of sickness, aggression and fear. They will also complete daily rounds with the practice’s doctors and explore the latest in veterinary technology in a supervised and hands-on environment.
“We’re thrilled to be able to open our doors to the community once again this summer and offer these bright children the opportunity to learn something new,” said Dr. Evan Kanouse, veterinarian and owner of Brook Farm Veterinary Center. He added, “My colleagues come to work each day looking to improve the lives of others; without our competent and loving staff, there is no way that this would be possible.”
Registration for the program will be capped at 12 children per session (with a total of 4 sessions) to help the practice create an experience that was intimate and engaging. The camp is offered free of charge as Brook Farm has agreed to assume the operating costs of the program with support from various corporate sponsors. This summer will mark the third year that the camp has been offered to the community.
Brook Farm’s Junior Veterinary Camp is preceded by various other community programs held throughout the year, ranging from their numerous low-cost vaccine clinics to Pet Photos with Santa Paws in December. Donations are directed toward the non-profit Veterinary Care Foundation, which benefits families who are unable to carry the financial burden of caring for their pets during times of emergency. As of July 1st, 2016, over eight thousand dollars have been allocated to pets in need since the fund’s inception nearly three years ago.