UI Veterinary school reaches out to local community in open house

The College of Veterinary Medicine held an open house Sunday, which drew around 500 people from the Champaign-Urbana area, including prospective veterinary medicine students.

The open house aimed to educate the community about the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, which is the only one in Illinois. Students representing the college explained to the public what veterinary medicine is. The prospective veterinary medicine students also heard a lecture about the requirements to be admitted to the college.

“We just open every door to the public,” said Jamie Hebron, open house community member and junior in Veterinary Medicine. “A lot of perspective students who want to be in vet school, some high school students and some kids from all ages come to the event.”

The event was composed of about 50 exhibits and demonstrations, which were run by the veterinary students. These exhibits introduced the pubic to different aspects of veterinary medicine. There were a variety of activities, such as an underwater treadmill for dogs, a horse–shoeing demonstration and a booth for milking cows. New to the event this year was a scavenger hunt that allowed children to pretend to be veterinarians by solving medical cases. There was also a teddy bear repairing center that helped children fix their plush toys.

Most of the activities were geared towards children, teaching them how to diagnose and treat illnesses and to take care of their own pets.

“I love kids and I am happy to help them,” said Amber Bulger, junior in Veterinary Medicine. “It lets them do what we do but in a kid-friendly way.”

Several local organizations participated in the open house, such as the Society for Hooved Animals’ Rescue and Emergency and the Champaign Area Trap Spay/Neuter and Adoption Program. There were also pet adoption programs like the Champaign County Humane Society and Retired Greyhounds as Pets. 

Students from all years of the Veterinary Medicine program took part in organizing the event. They showed what they have learned in different areas such as cardiology, dentistry and cancer care. The planning began three to four months ago and it took a lot of effort to put on a successful open house, said Cara Redmond, open house community member and junior in Veterinary Medicine. 

“I think it’s a good way to practice skills since in class we really don’t have that opportunity,” she said. “It’s nice to reach out to the community.” 

Gloria can be reached at pwang11@dailyillini.com.