Caring for Teachers’ Pets

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STAR CONTRIBUTOR: Caring for Teachers’ Pets
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CCISD Ag Department creates first Doggy Day Care

By Jamie Appelt

Clear Springs High School Student Staff Reporter

There’s a new place on campus for teachers’ pets. A doggy day care center called Palomino Pups is now open at Clear Springs High School in Clear Creek ISD. Students enrolled in the Small Animal Management course and Practicum in Veterinary Medicine course within the high school’s Agriculture Department have begun caring for teachers’ dogs during the school day.

These courses are designed to prepare students in all grades with knowledge and skills regarding career opportunities and industry expectations in veterinary careers. After receiving a grant from the Clear Creek Education Foundation, students and teachers in the department spent first semester preparing and setting up the space for this new student-driven project that is the first of its kind.

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Students are receiving hands-on experience working with and caring for the animals which can be beneficial for student internships and used within their future careers. “I have three dogs of my own, so taking care of the teacher’s dogs during the day is a breeze,” said Clear Springs senior Miriam Heins. “I have enjoyed this learning experience so far while also having fun in the classroom.”

Dog owners at Clear Springs are required to turn in a registration form before being enrolled in the program. There are guidelines that must be followed in order for a dog to be accepted into the day care. The dogs must also have up-to-date shots, including Rabies and Bordatella. Any dog that falls ill or misbehaves may be removed from the program at the discretion of the teacher and students.

“Palomino Pups Doggy Day Care has been a success all around,” said Agriculture Science teacher and Program Director Ashlie Paige. “Teachers say it allows them to have a better day knowing their dog is here while students are also learning hands on skills from grooming to training dogs. Since we opened up this program three months ago, it has earned enough money to pay for the Certified Vet Assistant (CVA) exam for all of the students in the Practicum in Veterinary Medicine class.” 

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Doggy Day Cares are becoming more and more popular because of jobs that require pet owners to be away from home for longer periods of time. Some busy pet owners take advantage of obedience and training courses offered at the facilities. This program at Clear Springs is also helpful to owners who do not have the time to personally train their pets.

The cost is $7 per day, but other services such as nail trims, brushing, training and baths are available for additional charge. Drop off begins at 6:30 a.m. and pick up ends at 3:30 p.m. The day care also has a limited number of openings per day. All proceeds from the day care help agriculture students at Clear Springs pay for their Certified Vet Assistant exam.

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