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This release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507,
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506,

Veterinary Technology Wins NAVTA Student Chapter of the Year Award

(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- For years Tri-County Technical College's National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) student chapter members have been out in the community, promoting the veterinary technology profession through fundraisers and community service projects. This year, members and chapter Advisor Christee Williams decided to put on paper their largest list of projects to date and submit them as a nomination to compete for the national Student Chapter of the Year Award.

Vet Tech wins NAVTAJust before Christmas, Williams got the call they had been singled out among 12 competitors for the coveted award.

She, along with Department Head Dr. Peggy Champion, and NAVTA Chapter President Carlin Hardin traveled to the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando where they accepted the Student Chapter of the Year Award. This is the first time Tri-County's chapter has submitted a nomination and the 14-year-old chapter's first national accolade.

"The committee was very impressed with Tri-County because of the enthusiasm and involvement of the program," said Lori Renda-Francis, Veterinary Technician program director at Macomb Community College. "It was great to see them work together to reach goals. They are awesome."

Throughout 2005, the organization's 29 members organized fundraisers, community service projects, and adoption events to promote the career of veterinary technology and the importance of animal welfare throughout the community.

One of its most successful endeavors was its quarterly Adoption Days, designed to find homes for the animals housed in our facility during the semester. As a result, the adoption rate has been 80 percent this year. Students visit the Anderson Animal Shelter at the beginning of the semester and select dogs and cats from the shelter for surgical and lab training. Animals are examined, spayed and neutered, tested and vaccinated, socialized and leash trained, and are in good health. They are returned to the shelter at the end of the semester, but another avenue for adoption is right here on campus. Instead of going to the shelter to adopt an animal, persons can go through the Vet Tech department and the money is returned to the shelter. The campus adoption fees are $15 each for dogs and cats.

Fundraisers allow students to make donations to area animal shelters and to aid needy families.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the Veterinary Technology Department was looking for a way to assist the animals that were victims of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Champion and Stephanie Brown, certified veterinary technician/adjunct instructor, didn't hesitate to volunteer when Linda Eller, president of Pets in Peril, asked for assistance in treating 12 dogs rescued from the streets of New Orleans.

Champion and Brown volunteered because they are the only two in the department who are pre-exposure vaccinated for rabies. They spent the afternoon of September 12 performing full exams on all of the dogs, in addition to drawing blood and vaccinating them. Later in the lab, students ran CBC, heartworm, and fecal tests on the animals' blood samples. Students also paid for the antibacterial shampoo to bathe the animals through their NAVTA chapter.

"NAVTA is very important because it teaches our students the importance of promoting your profession and staying up to date in your career field," said Williams.

In August the chapter sponsored a radiation safety seminar for area veterinary technicians seeking certification. Joe Peters of Midlands X-ray donated his time for a two-day seminar. All profits went to the College's NAVTA chapter, and Tri-County students participated in the event.

Other projects included:

-- Working at the American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas and J.D. Massey horse shows at the Garrison Arena. Both organizations sponsor three scholarships for senior students. The students also worked the concession stands at rodeo events and raised $744 to help support projects and to raise money for the senior departmental pinning ceremony in the spring.

-- Purchasing $225 in supplies to the Oconee County Animal Shelter to aid abused animals seized by animal control officers.

-- Sponsoring a child at Christmas through the SGA Angel Tree.

-- Participating in a Heifer International project by purchasing livestock for needy families in underdeveloped countries.

-- Hosting a departmental open house and selling raffle tickets which netted $130 to buy needed supplies at the Anderson County Animal Shelter.



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