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Humane Society More Than a Training Ground for Dogs

Published on March 27, 2014 by Tiffany Coleman

(MERIDIAN) More bark than bite. From the moment you step into the Meridian Valley Humane Society (MVHS) until the second you leave, one thing is clear: an all-out effort is being made to ensure that the animals passing through here are given every chance of survival. On any given day, the facility houses a dozen dogs that give every visitor a woof of a welcome. While the dogs are all here for a variety of different reasons, there is one common thread. The humane society is more than just a training ground for dogs. It is for people, too.

Two-by-two, students in the veterinary technology program at the Boise campus team up to clean ears, trim nails and practice restraint on dogs at the Meridian Valley Humane Society.

On this day, students in the Intro to Veterinary Technology class at Broadview University are taking what they have learned in class and applying it to the real world. Ear cleanings, nail trims, restraint practice; you name it, they are doing it. Two-by-two, the students team up to tackle the dogs one-by-one.

“This one isn’t a big fan of restraint,” one of the students says while watching a somewhat tame-looking dog try to escape with an alligator-type roll.

“Make sure you keep him in a lateral recumbency position,” their instructor, Heather Williams, says. More simply put, that means lying on one’s side.

But no matter how it is said, what it means or how instructions to do it are given, all work being done here is appreciated by those who volunteer to keep this place up and running.

“MVHS is a 100 percent volunteer-run adventure,” Nadine Salee, a volunteer, said. “Our primary focus is to make sure every dog that comes through here is safe, taken care of and, ultimately, adoptable.”

Salee says the shelter, which has a capacity of up to 15 kennels, is just about full all of the time.

“The longest a dog ever stays here is about three weeks,” she says. “They certainly don’t stay here long. People in Meridian are really good when it comes to adopting animals.”

MVHS started up in 2007 as a nonprofit organization. The facility works to provide foster care, training, veterinary care and adoption programs for dogs whose owners are no longer able to care for them and must give them up. The dogs come from a variety of places and for a variety of reasons, including: military personnel who are transferring duty stations, other shelters and rescues up for euthanasia.

“By donating our time and services here today, it is my hope that this exposure will encourage students to come back and volunteer,” Williams said. “Doing this will give them an opportunity to do even more down the road. Plus, it helps them to apply their in-class learning.”

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