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Finding care for pets is getting harder in Southern Colorado; how one program hopes to help

Pikes Peak State College's new veterinary technician program aims to boost the workforce
Posted at 8:16 PM, Oct 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-01 10:54:35-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Pet owners report to the Pikes Peak Humane Society that it's getting harder to find a veterinarian in Southern Colorado. Pikes Peak State College hopes to boost the workforce.

"If you go nowadays to call your regular vet clinic, not every vet clinic will take new clients," said veterinary technician Regina Reyes. "We had so much of an influx during COVID of people from different states coming here. and they have all these animals."

Besides working as a vet tech for the last 36 years, Reyes is the department chair for a new Veterinarian Technician program at Pikes Peak State College. The new program will give 24 students the opportunity to learn everything about becoming a vet tech while earning their professional license.

"The best part of it, at the very end, after you've graduated you get to take the VTNE, which is a national test, and if you pass that you're going to be a registered veterinarian technician," said Reyes.

Makenzie Kirk is a student at Pikes Peak State College who is already in their one year veterinary assistant program. She says she's always had an interest in helping animals.

"I always wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 5 years old," said Kirk. "Watching Steve Irwin and the animal catchers, I was like 'That's what I want to do.'"

She's very interested in applying for the vet tech program, wanting to further her education and get real-world experience with a vet's office.

"If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it all the way," she said.

The program is going to teach students about everything that vet techs typically handle, from lab work and anesthesiology, to preparing animals for surgery. They'll also learn to work with a wide variety of animals.

Kirk told me she's particularly excited to see a vet tech program at a lower price than other universities.

"It's affordable here, I can actually pay as I go, and be able to pay off my school bills before I graduate," she continued.

Applications and registration are open right now and close on November 30th.

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