Who are Your Heroes? Veterinary Technicians, Perhaps?

Who are Your Heroes? Veterinary Technicians, Perhaps?
On April 08, 2016

Many people whose paths I cross become my personal heroes. It occurs to me as I’m texting with one of my veterinary technicians about a sick shelter cat, many of my heroes are the vet techs in my life. Names have been changed to protect the awesome, but I want to share with you just some of the stories and examples that illustrate why techs are among the bravest, most caring and underappreciated people on the planet. If you happen to guess who I’m talking about by the stories or code names, bonus points to you!

No Banker’s Hours here!

  • Holidays, Snow days, Sundays, Midnights: the clock never stops for animals in need, so the veterinary technician’s job is never done.
  • RVT Pepper happens to be both a tech, and an animal control officer. She is a one-woman super-hero, out at all hours by herself saving not only cats and dogs but birds, deer, possums, snakes and turtles.

Adopting the least adoptable!

  • Heart defects, separation anxiety, cancer, 3 legs, insulin dependent diabetic, deaf, blind, epileptic, stage 3 kidney disease, incontinent.
  • No, those are not the top 10 most desirable traits searched on E-Harmony.
  • Those are just a few of the issues that can make animals in need less adoptable to the general public, and put them at a much higher risk for euthanasia.
  • That’s why the veterinary technicians I know and love adopt so many animals in those categories.

Neuter and Spay to Save the Day!

  • Spaying and neutering animals and providing basic wellness care saves lives, but not every pet has access to care through traditional means.
  • Be it working at a low cost spay & neuter clinic, working or volunteering at a shelter, traveling at their own expense to volunteer in places of dire poverty and need, or volunteering at our own free spay/neuter and wellness events, we couldn’t do it without the veterinary technicians.
  • Cheers to RVT’s Gremlin, Cryer, Uno, Tofu, Sporky and The Tornado in particular for their tireless efforts. 

That’s a BIG Kitty!

  • RVT Sista Pants joined me, without hesitation and a long way from home, on the first big cat rescue mission I ever participated in.
  • And by “Big Cat” I do mean lions and tigers and other large wild animals who were in rough shape in an unsafe place.
  • I’m happy to report that all humans and non-humans involved lived to tell about it.

The Smelly, the Bad and the Ugly!

  • On a typical workday, veterinary technicians end up with excrement and other foul bodily secretions on their clothing, or in their hair; they wash it off to the best of their ability, douse themselves in Groom-Aide and keep on going.  
  • Veterinary technicians get bitten, scratched and kicked; they scrub it, tape it, shake it off, and keep on going.

Breaking News! People can be Jerks!

  • Speaking of excrement, veterinary technicians have to take it, day in and day out, from upset clients and sometimes even from their vets.
  • Veterinary technicians keep patients alive on the surgery table, monitor them in the hospital, change their bandages, and sit with them so they won’t be afraid.
  • Veterinary technicians double as interpreters, therapists, mediators, punching bags and big time wrestlers.
  • Veterinary technicians follow our orders, read our minds, catch our mistakes, stroke our fragile egos and ease our insecurities.
  • Veterinary technicians juggle all of this, plus cry with pet parents after a euthanasia, celebrate with the next family and their new rescue kittens, order and track supplies, supervise staff and do really hard math.

Hug a Veterinary Technician Today!

  • So the next time you see some of my heroes, please give them a great big hug.
  • On second thought, don’t. They probably have something really gross on them. Plus, a lot of animal people don’t like human cooties.
  • Take 2: the next time you see my heroes, give them an enthusiastic thumbs up from a distance, and food. Veterinary technicians do love food.


  • You do not have to go to school for a thousand years, spend a million dollars and become a veterinarian to work with animals.
  • You can be a veterinary technician, a veterinary assistant, earn a paid position as part of a shelter or rescue organization team, help animals by solving behavior problems, manage a doggie daycare center . . . the possibilities are endless.
  • Learn what you love, and do what you love.
  • Talk to us if you want information on how to pursue a career working with animals, or just to find out about our amazing animal rescue partners throughout Ohio. Stautzenberger College offers diploma and degree programs a variety of Animal Sciences including:

 Simply by NOT being part of the problem, you ARE part of the solution.



Written by: Danya Linehan, DVMDR.Dayna Spring image

Danya Linehan has been working with animals since 1983, practicing veterinary medicine since 1993, and has been a proud member of the Stautzenberger College Family since 2006. (Danya Linehan is old). Dr. Danya is the Program Chair for Animal Welfare and Management Program with the College.

As the part time shelter veterinarian at Cat Welfare Association, she is part of an amazing animal welfare team.

Danya shares her home, her rescue mission and her life with fellow animal advocate Mike Parks. Mike and Danya are owned by a lively crew of cats; they are currently one cat shy of being the crazy cat couple.




#college #animalscience #sctoday