ANDERSON CO, SC (WSPA) – Wednesday, the Anderson County PAWS is the only shelter in the Upstate offering college veterinary students a chance at hands-on experience before graduation.
PAWS Director and Veterinarian Dr. Kim Sanders said she started offering this internship two years ago after realizing the need for young experienced vets was growing.
Plus, PAWS also needed a few extra hands, so the internship was a win-win for everyone.
It began with students from The College of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University. Dr. Sanders said it grew by word of mouth from there.
Now, international students have reached out looking for the internship.
The veterinary interns work under Dr. Sanders on various surgeries they might only read about in school.
She added, when she graduated a program like this would have greatly helped her confidence with practicing in the field after college.
The students are paid for their time. They’ve spent breaks or summer vacations working at the shelter.
While this isn’t surprising, with recent data showing the need for vets will grow to nearly 20% over the next 10 years, so work over break is necessary.
Dr. Sanders said the added benefit to working in the shelter is opening students’ eyes up to other veterinary practices outside of private practice, such as specialized or shelter medicine.
“For Anderson County we have 200,000 residents and 6,300 animals that just came through our door alone last year,” Dr. Sanders said.
“So these are animals for the most part aren’t owned or have been in a bad situation and so these students get to see the worst of the worst, or they get to see a lost dog be reunited with it’s owner, which is one of the best feelings ever!” Dr. Sanders added.
For more details and contact information about the veterinary internship click here.