Local animal shelter wants to reestablish partnership with local community college

POLKTON, NC – “It was a great program,” says Maureen Lett, Anson Co. Animal Shelter Manager. And if she gets her wish, this great program will be back. She talks about the vet assistant program the shelter ran in partnership with South Piedmont Community College from 2016 to 2018. “It’s a great need,” she says, of vet employees.

As part of the program, students from the veterinary assistant program worked at the shelter to learn everything. “Just every aspect of what we do here at the shelter,” Lett says. The students gained experience and the shelter got help. The program ended, but no one really knows why. Lett wants it back as part of a bigger plan.

She explains, “Sophomores could do their clinical hours on a mobile neutering unit and that would give people low-cost (animal care) access here in Anson County.”

But.

The shelter does not yet have a mobile sterilization clinic.

Currently, Lett and shelter workers drive from Polkton to Charlotte or Concord once a week to have 13 animals repaired on each visit. It’s about 50 a month. If they had the mobile unit? Lett says they could do, “Probably a hundred.” This is double the number of sterilized or castrated animals.

Where does the money for a mobile clinic come from? Enter: Petco. WCCB News @ Ten Anchor Morgan Fogarty has verified and Petco is in the middle of an open grant round. Lett has a grant application in progress. Petco told the WCCB, “We have supported this organization for several years and welcome the opportunity to consider their application.”

Fogarty also checked with SPCC. They see the need for the vet assistant program and tell the WCCB, “We would be happy to partner with community organizations to offer a vet assistant program at the college.” Lett says, “I think it would be a godsend, not just for us, but for people here in the community.”

Lett is working on this grant, and she gets in touch with SPCC decision makers. The college prioritizes programs that meet the needs of the labor market and these veterinary assisting jobs are needed. We will keep you posted.

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