Allergies don't stop grad's plans to work with animals PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD, Sentinel Education Editor   
Saturday, 31 May 2014 01:58
Perrysburg senior Sarah Brown with Duke at PENTA Career Center. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - Sarah Brown has known since childhood that she wanted to work with animals.
And nothing, not even an allergy to dogs, trees and grass, was going to stop her.
Brown will graduate this month from the Small Animal Care program at Penta Career Center, and will attend the University of Findlay's animal science/pre-vet program.
But despite spending two years at Penta learning about furry pets and reptiles, she has her sights set on working with large animals.
Horses and cows especially.
She shared that all of her stuffed animals are cows.
"I'm a farm girl" at heart, if not in reality, she said. "If we could have had a farm, we would have."
But Brown found out her sophomore year she had allergies to animals and has since had two surgeries to correct her sinus cavity.
"I don't think I would have stopped" even if the surgeries hadn't work, the senior said. "But I probably would have been miserable."
"I care about this too much to let allergies get in the way."
She still gets weekly allergy shots, but will occasionally get a rash if she handles dogs too long.
"My childhood is just all animals. I think the rest of my life will be too."
Her junior year at Penta was spent learning animal management, and this year has been more vet-tech related. Students alternate between the cute and cuddly animals and reptiles.
"It goes without saying she is more than committed" to animals, said Janet Buck, Small Animal Care instructor at Penta.
"It will be more than a job for her. It's going to be her profession. She has a passion for the profession otherwise she would never go through what she's going through to work with animals."
Students are required to assist local vets with surgeries, and had a chance at a behind-the-scenes look at the Toledo Zoo.
They got to watch a trainer work with an elephant and feed a giraffe.
"It was really cool," Brown recalled.
She also is a member of National Honor Society and is active in FFA. She was a member of the Penta animal health team that placed sixth at the recent state convention.
Brown leases a horse at Forest View Ranch near Whitehouse, a carryover from her days in the U.S. Pony Club. The instructor for the club moved away, and Brown quit competing.
She plans to move from Perrysburg to Findlay to attend school.
"I fell in love as soon as I went there," she stated.
She also visited vet programs at the University of Kentucky and at Midway College, and all-girls school also in Kentucky, but was told at both that their equine studies programs were modeled after the one at Findlay.
She did receive a Merit Scholarship from UF based on her high school grade point average. The award is for $14,000 and is renewable for four years.
"She's one of those students every teacher wishes could have in her class," Buck said.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 May 2014 02:53

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