K-State veterinary students provide care and training for service dogs, earn scholarships

MANHATTAN — “Lab training” has taken on a new meaning for four students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, and their work with service puppies was recently recognized with scholarships.Last fall, two pairs of veterinary students volunteered to host Kansas Specialty Dog Service, or KSDS, Assistance Dogs, Inc. puppies through the first 18 months of growth and training. This initiative is a collaboration between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the KSDS to have a “class dog” in the first- and second-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine cohorts. In addition to social interaction with the class dogs, students experience the training and care necessary for assistance dogs.The dogs, Snyder and Ohlde, are from a litter named for K-State athletics legends.The puppy-raisers are first-year veterinary students Jayme Williams, Farlington, and Madison Lathem, Wichita, who are responsible for Snyder. Second-year veterinary students Rebekah Arnold, Wichita, and Kathleen Wardman, Winfield, are responsible for Ohlde.“The thing I have loved most about raising Ohlde is seeing his personality take shape over the last several months,” Arnold said. “He is a very bright dog with lots of love to give, and I’m positive he will excel in whatever position he fills for KSDS.”Each student has been awarded a scholarship to recognize their commitment of energy and time to training the dogs.“The best part of raising Snyder is the fact that I know he will do so much good for someone one day,” Lathem said. “It’s rewarding to know training Snyder has the potential to allow someone to perform day-to-day activities that I may take for granted.”Bonnie Rush, Hodes family dean, said, “Snyder and Ohlde have become true members of our veterinary family as the class dogs for our first- and second-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students. There is no better environment for their socialization and command training. Providing our students with these scholarships shows our support and appreciation to Madison, Jayme, Kathleen and Rebekah for their dedication and commitment to these dogs.”Each of the dogs has been receiving training and socialization by both sets of the hosting students with assistance from their classmates. Health care for the dogs is provided by the Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center, where each receives exceptional medical care and attention.

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