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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Open house draws crowds of humans, animals alike

The+Vet+School+Open+House+held+a+petting+zoo+where+visitors+met+various+animals+on+Saturday%2C+April+25th+such+as+this+red+tegu+named+Scarlet.
Timothy Lai

The Vet School Open House held a petting zoo where visitors met various animals on Saturday, April 25th such as this red tegu named Scarlet.

An open house showcased the College of Veterinary Medicine to the public eye Saturday.

Texas A&M’s veterinary school has been a university pillar for nearly a century, and its clinical impact throughout the industry is seen in its status as a top-eight vet school in the nation. 

The school was established in 1916 by Dr. Mark Francis, who served as its first dean until he died in 1936. Dr. Francis was brought on with A&M by the Bureau of Animal Industry to study livestock diseases. At the time there was a major problem in the cattle and beef industry with tick fever. After researching the disease, Dr. Francis was able to diagnose and solve the tick fever problem.

Now, the school’s veterinary program is best known for its clinical impact, said director of student affairs Dr. Dan Posey.

 “Eighty percent of our graduates go into clinical practice,” Posey said. “When you look at ratings, we are in the top eight [veterinary schools] of the 34 that are in America — that’s based on research and a lot of other things. Actually if they looked at our clinical program we would probably be in the top five.”

Saturday the school opened its doors to allow the public a first-hand experience of its clinical program with the annual open house. The halls looked like something from Noah’s Ark with dogs, snakes, tortoises and humans all crowded together.

The open house included tours of both the large and small animal clinics, presentations put on by 

the professionals who work at the school and hands-on exhibits that let attendees get up close and personal with the animals.

Shelby Gasson, a third-year veterinary student and director of this year’s open house, said her favorite activity was the teddy bear surgery.

“Kids get to make up whatever story they want,” Gasson said. “‘My bear has a broken leg,’ or ‘My giraffe got hit by a car and needs a heart transplant.’ So they come up with all kinds of crazy fun stories. Then our second- and third-year vet students work with the kids and help them get fixed and stitched up.”

Dr. Posey said one of his favorite aspects of the open house was the exotic wing.

“They have a self-guided tour of exotic pets, so there are lots of snakes and reptiles. It’s interesting because most people don’t get to see those animals as pets,” Dr. Posey said.  

The veterinary school isn’t just about animal medicine, said Brian Giebel, biomedical science junior and representative of the Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Program. It also allows the university to offer its Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Program.

 “Our science program is basically anything health oriented — PA school, PT School, obviously veterinary medicine, and human medicine like med school, ophthalmology,” Giebel said.

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