Hey guys! I’m really excited about this new series of Talks with Women. I recently talked with a long time friend of mine. Cora, a CVT living and working in Utah. Discussing her career, and her passion, animals.
E: So it’s been a while since we talked last.
What have you been up to?
C: It has been a while! Sorry for being a crappy long distance friend. Well, we moved last August to Utah from Minnesota. So it’s been almost a year but I still feel really unsettled here. Alex proposed in December, so I’ve been (kinda half-assing) planning a wedding for when we move back.
And then of course, work. I’m a veterinary technician at a GP Clinic in my town. Utah doesn’t regulate techs here, so I’m maintaining my certification in Minnesota. I work full time, and then some. I’m on call a lot for emergencies since there isn’t a local ER.
E: What made you go into this field?
C: Well, I was pretty lost for a minute there. Remember my waitressing days? I had no idea what I wanted for so long. Looking back, it seems like it should have been so obvious
E: I remember those days !
C: I’ve always been passionate about animals. If you asked my mom, she might say obsessive. I spent hours agonizing over my hamsters cages and husbandry, wanting to give them the best care I ever could when I was a kid. I loved animals. I empathized with all of them. I stopped eating meat/started dealing with that moral struggle in the 6th grade.
Anyways, I was working a shift at my restaurant one night. Alex was gone on a trip to do some field study for school. We were long distance most of the year at that time, but this trip was hard on me because he had no cell service so we couldn’t talk. I decided I would work extra shifts while he was gone since I was bored anyways, but by the end of the first week I was exhausted. I distinctly remember looking down the salad bar line at one of the other women working- a “lifer” is what we called her. Has worked there for years, and will until retirement.
I got terrified. Is that going to be me? I hate this job. That can’t be me.
I had a minor breakdown and a co-worker took pity on me. She knew me somewhat well, she knew I was passionate about animals. She was in school, studying vet med. She was going to be a veterinary technician. She asked me if I would come tour her school. I went the next day.
I was in awe. It was as if every puzzle piece fell into place. THIS would be my career. I registered that day. When I called Alex to tell him, he was nervous about money and that I was making a rushed decision. He asked if I was sure, I said yes, and never looked back.
I learn more every day. The field is changing now, too. It’s very exciting.
A lot of my experience after I graduated was in wildlife rehab which I would say is a true passion, but I’m also enjoying small animal medicine.
E: Is it difficult to see how disconnected people can be from wildlife? Even pets?
Why is spay neuter important. Why is back yard breeding bad?
My county last year alone killed 2000 dogs and is going to double it this year. The shelter is over full with 400 animals and only 40 kennels
C: Yeah, it’s very difficult. Even for the pets. I’ve seen so many animals suffer because of their owners.
I could go blue in the face talking about all of the reasons to spay and neuter pets. First off, health reasons. Females who are unaltered run the risk of getting an infection in the uterus called a pyometra. Without a uterus, this doesn’t happen! There is also the risk of mammary tumors. Certain breeds are more prone to getting them, but no matter the breed, the risk is GREATLY reduced in a spayed female. And then of course there is the chance of testicular cancer in un-altered males. It’s very common. There are countless other medical risks, but those are the most common. And then there is the risk of accidental litters, as well. And as with any pregnancy, medical complications can occur. Pets who have been spayed and neutered have also been proven to live longer, especially males.
And that’s not even touching on back yard breeding, which is a subject I can go on and on and on about…The thing is, breeding should be for the betterment of a breed. Not for fun, not for showing your children “the miracle of life” (if I had a nickle…), not because you want to make more “Fluffys”. No. If I could express to you the frustration of seeing people breed their pets for fun, and the medical and behavioral problems that are passed down to the next generation…It truly breaks my heart, Ethan.
Not every pet is a good candidate for breeding, either.
There are so many test that *should* be run first. Brucellosis testing, OFA hip/elbow certification, bloodwork, genetic testing…and then being set up to make sure that the puppies are adequately cared for medically and behaviorally. Puppies need to be well socialized to a lot at a young age. Most backyard breeders have very little understanding of all of this, and are ill prepared. Money should be available for emergency C-sections, mastitis in the breast, and other complications. All of this information is true for both canines and felines.
And on top of it all, backyard breeders add to the crisis you mentioned. Thousands and thousands of animals across the nation need homes. Why add to that number?
E: They look to us to take care of them and we’re not even responsible
C: I have rescued both of my pets. Harvey is the most amazing dog, not without his problems due to being dumped at the shelter multiple times, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He is such a love. He required an ophthalmic surgery he never would have gotten at the shelter if I hadn’t rescued him. And my cat Dale came from a less than ideal situation as well.
I am lucky to know so many people who care for animals, both pets and wildlife, but the constant education to others can be really exhausting. I wish people listened.
E: Rescue pets are the best. They love you more than your own spouse. (Laughs)
C: Haha, it’s funny you say that
E: It’s true!
C: It is! Alex frequently walks in on me and Harvey cuddling and giving kisses and says I love him more
E: Simon is a rescue and he’s great. He waits in the window for me every day.
C: I am the “ultimate resource” to my dog, just like you are to Simon. Not only do they love us, they need us. He’s such a cute dog. I love seeing his pictures, and Beagle in the City
E: He’s my best friend for life.
C: Yeah, they steal our hearts. I was making my bed yesterday and had my comforter tossed on the floor, and for a second I almost expected my childhood dog who passed away years ago to jump on it, because she used to love doing that.
E: I can’t even think about losing Simon. I don’t know how you handled that.
C: it was tough. Oscar was the hardest I think. I miss him all the time!
Simon is totally your companion!
E: Thank you so much for talking with me,Cora.
C: Thank you! Maybe I wasn’t too long winded!
Cora is a CVT. Working with shelters and clinics in Minnesota and Utah.
Learn more about spaying and neutering
The Humane Society
And as always
You can adopt or donate or learn more about your local rescues and shelters Here