During the past holiday season, students from Ross Medical Education Center in Portage, Michigan held a campus-wide supplies drive this holiday season. However, the students in the Portage Veterinary Assistant program wanted to do something a little different. So the class chose to provide Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement with much needed pet food, pet toys, treats, and day-to-day supplies. At the end of the drive, students delivered the gathered supplies to Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement, and they also took time to spread their love and holiday cheer by spending time with the animals before heading back to campus.
While Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement is allocated a budget each year from Kalamazoo County, it is often not enough to cover all the expenses incurred throughout the budgetary year. Because of this, the organization relies on strong community support to help care for over 3,500 stray and abandoned animals each year. They care not only for dogs and cats, but also smaller animals such as birds and reptiles. Some of the most commonly needed items include food and toys for sheltered animals, cleaning supplies, cat litter, and supplies for the smaller animals as well such as cage bedding. They also accept monetary donations to help pay for veterinary care for injuries and diseases, as well as emergency care for animals in need of immediate medical treatment.
Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement is also a great resource for information about animal bites and rabies, licensing for pets, local laws and ordinances in regards to pet ownership, and providing live traps to help secure stray animals so they can be safely collected by law enforcement officials without harm to the animals and officers alike. These were among the reasons that Carey Wells, Veterinary Assistant program Instructor, decided to work with the organization this holiday season. The campus has worked with them in the past and was thrilled to collect and donate over 150 lbs of food, treats, toys, and other items. “As the Veterinary Assistant instructor at Portage, I definitely would like to support Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement in any way that I can,” said Carey. “Reaching out to non-profits in the area that are trying to make a difference helps both students and animals!”