High school students care for neglected animals

FT. PIERCE, Fla. - A few weeks ago, more than 100 dogs and cats were removed from the Sanctuary Animal Refuge in St. Lucie County. This week, 10 of those dogs were sent back to school. But they don't seem to mind.

They were brought to Westwood High School in Ft. Pierce where Dr. Dana Juillerat pairs them with some of the 160 kids in the Veterinary Assisting Academy.

"They were in horrible condition but they're all so sweet and loving and they'll all be extremely adoptable," said senior April Christ.

The students are allowed to perform some injections and provide lots of other medical care.

"It's awesome. You're actually doing it. Not learning about it in a textbook. Then, when text day comes, or when you're out going for a job, you know what you're doing," said Crist.

One big advantage these animals get at the Westwood Vet Academy, as opposed to a shelter, is the constant love and attention. In fact, they are taken out for a run every class period. That's seven times a day.

"We get to find out how they interact with one another. Can they be in multiple dog household or not. How are they with small animals," says Dr. Juillerat.

It's a program perfect for junior Hannah Brauer. She's got plenty of pets at home.

"Right now, I have three dogs, four chickens, a pig and two horses," said Brauer.

Brauer would love a fourth dog if she can convince her parents.

"One of my horses has the same skin problem and I want this dog because I know how to take care of it," added Brauer.

If all goes as planned, in six weeks, the dogs will graduate to new homes.

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