Ross Medical Education Center in Davison is a passionate community when it comes to helping animals. Recently, the campus held a drive for the Genesee County Animal Control. The drive was initiated by the Pharmacy Technician program chair and lead instructor Kate O’Malley.
Kate is an incredibly empathetic and caring soul. As soon as she talks about animals, you can sense the amount of empathy and love that she has for them. Being a pet owner herself, this drive was really meaningful to her. Growing up, she always brought home every stray she found and she has had pets her entire life. The idea for the drive came to fruition when a friend of Kate’s could no longer carry through with her own drive that she planned on having for the shelter. Kate decided to take over the drive and do this as a community service event for the school. She stated, “We held the drive for a month and we had an overwhelming response. Over 100 pounds of dog food were donated, in addition to a bunch of toys, litter, dog bones, and sweaters.”
Many Ross students are pet owners, so they were happy to be able to support such a good cause. Medical Assistant student Morgan Maggs stated, “I donated because I don’t have enough free time as I’d like to volunteer with animals. So I try to help as much as I can for the time being. I love animals and I wanted to make sure they have what they need.”
In addition to coordinating the drive, Kate also signed up to volunteer at the shelter as she understands the great demand for volunteers. She stated, “I’m a firm believer that unless a dog is wired wrong, there are no bad dogs. We need to look at the other end of the leash, and that’s where volunteers come in. Sometimes they even take them home to work on their training in another environment rather than just the shelter. They do some amazing things and I can’t wait to be part of it.”
Kate attended orientation and had the opportunity to tour the facility when she dropped off the donations. In doing so, she learned about the renovations that the shelter has gone through in the last several years. They recently took down the incinerator and they officially became a no-kill shelter. They still have to put some animals down if the owner requests it; however, if it’s a perfectly healthy dog, they’ll just ask the owner to relinquish their pet rather than put it down.
One of the success stories the shelter is most proud of is that of K9 Officer Blake. A few years back, a volunteer fostered a dog named Blake who was brought to the shelter. She saw a lot of potential in Blake, so she got in contact with some people at Sector K9 in Texas. Soon after, the pit mix that was once a stray in the streets of Flint was on his way to Sector K9 in Texas to become a trained police dog. He is now partnered up with a cop and works as a drug detection dog.
The Genesee County Animal Control is supported by so many individuals in the community. It’s growing and expanding every single day. The students, faculty, and staff at Ross Medical in Davison will continue supporting the shelter as much as they can. Kate stated, “This is going to be an annual thing and I can’t wait to be part of it. Students and staff always step up to donate to our furry friends. As I always say, if we can’t adopt, we can donate. And if we can’t donate, we can certainly educate. For more information on the Genesee County Animal Control, please visit https://www.gc4me.com/departments/animal_control/index.php.