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High school students learn veterinary sciences to bring some relief to industry shortages

The Western Maricopa Education Center is running programs in the Valley to train high school students and get them into the pet care industry.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Over the course of the pandemic, millions of pets have been adopted across the nation. With more pets in homes, it’s putting pressure on the already stressed animal-care industry.

There’s a veterinarian shortage and the need for these specialized animal caretakers is hitting Arizona too.

To help relieve shortages, the Western Maricopa Education Center is running programs in the Valley to swiftly train high school students and get them into the pet care industry.

Lisa Flemming, a Veterinary Science Instructor at West-MEC Southwest Campus, is mentoring high school students in their Veterinary Science program. 

The classroom setting is in a lab and offers hands-on experiences. Animals are brought in to to be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed, neutered and more. 

Once students finish the program, they're able to join the workforce and bring relief to animal care practices in need of qualified employees. 

The school also teams with local shelters and rescues to help teach the students. The partnership gets the animals healthy and adopted back into the community. 

There are applications available for high school students who are interested in learning more about veterinary science, in the upcoming school year. 

RELATED: How the 'Betty White Challenge' is helping Arizona animal shelters

RELATED: Pinal County puppy breeder arrested on fraud-related charges

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