'Dr. V' Wows Farm Life Students
Forget firemen or professional athletes. When they grow up, many fourth-graders at Sandhills Farm Life School want to be veterinarians.
The students almost mobbed Dr. Dana Vamvakias, her veterinarian technician Stacy Mabe and Animal Control Officer Frank Ringelberg after a class presentation Monday on veterinary medicine and care of pets.
Challenging them for attention was Chinook, a Siberian husky who was rescued from the animal shelter by his handler, Nancy Copeland.
Chinook is a certified therapy dog, with the best disposition on earth. He let the children smother him with pats and squeezes and cheerfully cooperated when Vamvakias used him to demonstrate procedures used in examining her patients.
“Veterinarians look after all animals on earth,” said Vamvakias, a veterinarian with the Banfield Pet Hospital in Aberdeen. She told the children to call her “Dr. V” to remind them that she is a doctor of veterinary medicine.
She said some veterinarians specialize in zoo animals, others specialize in wild animals, others in birds and there are even miscellaneous categories within the field of birds. She told the children that vets are responsible for the food we eat, which means they inspect meat and milk for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, inspect factories that handle food and specialize in animal-transmitted diseases.
The class was the fourth and final at Sandhills Farm Life sponsored by the Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee. The panel was initially appointed by the Moore County Board of Commissioners to tackle the issue of pet over-population, an expensive taxpayer burden causing shelter over-crowding and thousands of euthanizations.
In its first two years, the committee focused on spay/neuter projects in individual communities, starting with Robbins and the northern part of the county. However, since revision of the county animal control ordinance, the committee has been concentrating on education and offers a program as part of the character education initiative of school guidance counselors.
The program is available to all interested elementary schools, and the committee is working its way through all interested schools in the county.
The Monday morning class was especially meaningful because the committee has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Banfield Charitable Trust to further the educational initiative. Vamvakias, who is chief of staff for the Banfield Pet Hospital, sponsored the application.
At a Monday night meeting, the Board of Commissioners officially accepted the grant from the Banfield trust fund.
For more on this story, see the print edition of The Pilot.
More like this story