New Partnership with MISD Aims for Lifelong Impact on Students and Animals

Articles Animals 02-02-15 01

Animal Services is growing an exciting new partnership with Ben Barber Career and Technical Academy with the Mansfield Independent School District. Animal Services Center (ASC) staff and community partners are providing hands-on education to 105 students with a common goal of helping animals. Animal Services Manager Chris Huff and Volunteer Administrator Cheri Colbert held an orientation to explain the partnership to students and parents, resulting in over 30 students signing up to volunteer their services.

Kristi Chambliss, a Ben Barber Agricultural Science teacher leading the Veterinary Tech program, got involved with this partnership to “provide another avenue for animals to receive care, love and attention.” Chambliss teaches Veterinary Science and Advanced Animal Science classes and is passionate about education and animal welfare. Chambliss recently adopted two cats from Animal Services.

Arlington’s homeless animals at the ASC are also reaping tremendous benefits from this partnership. Nicholas Pierce, one of the students approved as an ASC volunteer, was the first to become involved in the shelter’s Foster Pet Program.  Pierce has been diligently nurturing a sweet dog with an amputated leg, named Ally, to good health in preparation for adoption. Ally is flourishing under Pierce’s care, and is described as being lively and healing remarkably well. Pierce brags about her great home training and her hopes of becoming a lap dog for someone special.

The first two classes presented included Dr. Jenkins teaching about parasites. Dr. Jenkins, also an ASC volunteer, recently began an “Ask Dr. Jenkins program held at the shelter on the last Thursday of every month. Jenkins practiced veterinary medicine full time in the Arlington area for 39 years. Now retired, he continues to give back to the community with his involvement in these programs.

“I was impressed with the level of interest and the number of students involved in the animal technology program at Ben Barber,” explained Dr. Jenkins. “The program should prove valuable in giving them the opportunity to access their interest in animal technology or veterinary medicine as a career by exposing them to real world situations, while letting them gain knowledge in the process.”

ASC Veterinarian Dr. Nancy Carter and Veterinarian Technician Stephen Anthony taught hands-on classes to the students on how to perform animal fecal testing and analysis. Anthony with 11 years of experience and six years at the shelter, talked to the students about proper technique for conducting an intestinal parasite fecal examination. He also covered zoonoses (diseases that can be passed from animals to humans) and the importance of sanitation and hand washing. Together they took samples, identified parasites, and discussed treatment models.

Hannah Murphy, an Agricultural Science teacher and FFA advisor teaches Principles of Agriculture and focuses on the importance of responsible pet ownership in her Small Animal Management classes.

Huff expressed hopes that this program will “last for generations and provide the students clear understanding of how giving back to their community can help save animals lives.”