The Animal Humane Society is launching a new veterinary technician training program in the hopes of getting more people into the profession.
For the past seven years, Kayla Johnson has worked her way up at the Animal Humane Society.
“You’re experiencing a bunch of new things every day,” Johnson said.
Now she’s ready to teach others what it’s like to care for animals. That’s because she’s the supervisor of the new vet tech training program, believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
“I’m looking forward to having staff fully trained on and able to jump in and work,” Johnson said.
This comes at a time when there is a shortage in the industry all across the country, including locally, where several schools that train vet techs closed within the last few years.
“That was where most of the vet techs in the state were trained through, so with those schools going away there was a huge need,” said Dr. Graham Brayshaw, director of veterinarian medicine with the Animal Humane Society.
Brayshaw says it’s having an impact on your visit to the vet.
“We’re probably offering two-thirds of the appointments to the public that we want to,” Brayshaw said.
He says while this new paid program is not the same as a vet tech education school, they’re trying something different to attract a broader pool of people.
“We wanted as low of a barrier as we can. We want it to be where people can get in as long as they have the right desire to do it,” Brayshaw said.
Once accepted into the seven-month program, trainees will get a mix of classroom and hands-on experience in learning how to care for animals.
“You’re going to be around animals. Yes, you get a ton of hands-on experience,” Johnson said.
From prepping for appointments to helping out during surgery, the duties for a vet tech are wide-ranging. This particular program is open to anyone, with no experience required.
“This is a fix to let us long term always be in a place where we can be appropriately staffed,” Brayshaw said.
“The more staff we have, the more animals we’re able to help, and that’s the ultimate goal here is helping as many animals as we can,” Johnson said.
Applications for the program are now being accepted. The first group will consist of five people, with more added throughout the year.
Visit the Animal Humane Society’s website to apply.