WSVN — From rabbits to roosters, goats and even dogs. It’s just a normal day for students at Ferguson High School.

Erin Abramoff: “We have over 500 students between the vet, one teacher and myself.”

Teacher Erin Abramoff runs the veterinary program at the high school. She teaches students everything from how to hold a rabbit…

Erin Abramoff: “Remember always control the back legs.”

…To how to groom a dog.

Erin Abramoff: “They’ll be developing lesson plans, they’ll be doing hands on, they’re the ones that run the grooming program. It takes a lot longer to groom a dog than most people think.”

However, that’s just the beginning of this program.

Students own and care for the animals at the school and prepare to show them at competitions. Juan, who is a senior, says that means getting up very early.

Juan Barrera: “I own two hens and a rooster, so before class, I come here and feed them and give them water and take care of them.”

The students tend to a variety of animals.

Erin Abramoff: “We have two goats that are pregnant right now.”

These students face a lot of responsibility and hard work, but the degree they earn can be used to get jobs.

Erin Abramoff: “They work their butt off every single day, every single weekend, holiday, day off– everything.”

So, when their teacher’s precious pet Buddy, a mix bred Saint Bernard and Mastiff, needed a special procedure for hip dysplasia, her students jumped at the chance to help.

Stephanie Lara: “A really great opportunity that we got chosen to actually be a part of this life-changing experience.”

They worked with local veterinarian Paula Ferreira, of Ferreira Animal Hospital, using stem cell therapy.

Dr. Paula Ferreira: “It’s a very detail-oriented procedure. There are several different steps and you have to pay attention all the time.”

It will take some time to see if Buddy’s procedure was a success, however, Juan says the hands-on experience really confirmed his love for veterinary medicine.

Juan Barrera: “To see him get up again and know he’s going to get healthy, it’s great.”

Erin says she has never been more proud of her students and knows whatever path they choose, they will succeed.

Erin Abramoff: “I know that they’re going to make a difference. They’ve made a difference in my life, they’ve made a difference in buddy’s life.”

Lynn Martinez: Students must earn 500 hours under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian for certification. They can then work at a vet’s office or go on to college to further their degree.

Ferguson Senior High School
Veterinary Program  

(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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