Strengthening the human animal bond is at the core of everything we do. Since Princeton Animal Hospital and Carnegie Cat Clinic has opened its doors, there exists a fervent desire to not only be a part of the community but to be involved within the community. We participate in several ongoing community related programs.
Our hospital is a refuge for the lost and abandoned pets of Plainsboro and West Windsor Townships, as well as the primary facility for handling all medical concerns for any sick or injured pets recovered by Animal Control. Princeton Animal Hospital and Carnegie Cat Clinic have found homes for hundreds of these lost furry souls with new, loving families. We also volunteer staff support for various veterinary clinics offered by the township.
Along with providing support for the townships, Princeton Animal Hospital and Carnegie Cat Clinic have supported a variety of rescue groups and shelters over the years, providing services to these wonderful organizations. Starting in 2009, we have held hospital adoption days and we proudly recommend groups such as Easel Pet Rescue League in Ewing Township, NJ; S.A.V.E. in Skillman, NJ and Pet Rescue of Mercer, based in Hamilton, NJ.
Our hospital was recently published in Trends, AAHA's magazine for our involvement with Mercer County Community College:
In the Community: Danger or Opportunity?
by M. Carolyn Miller, MA
The Chinese word for crisis contains two symbols, one for danger and the other for opportunity. That appears to have been particularly applicable for AAHA-accredited Princeton Animal Hospital and Carnegie Cat Clinic in Princeton, New Jersey.
In 2010, practice owner James Miele, DVM, and other members of the Princeton management team saw a need in the community, and in its own practice, for qualified veterinary technicians. Miele had an idea. After some discussion, the Princeton group approached Mercer County Community College (MCCC), in West Windsor Township. Their goal was to see if there was interest in creating a veterinary technician assistant program for the community. There was.
To develop the curriculum, Princeton’s practice manager at the time began by visiting several schools and speaking with their leadership to identify how best to make Miele’s idea real. The end result is a curriculum based on the list of essential skills for veterinary assistants as defined by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. The course is in operation today, and it is acting as a veterinary technician pipeline for the community.
The course Princeton and MCCC codesigned and currently run consists of five modules. Modules 1 through 4 include 150 lecture hours. Topics covered in class include anatomy, communication in the veterinary office, medical records, restraint and behavior, diseases, surgical preparation, and diagnostic testing.
Module 5 is a 100-hour, three-month externship that occurs onsite at Princeton. In the externship, students have an opportunity to practice, hands-on, what they learned in Modules 1 through 4. Upon successful completion of the five modules, students are then eligible to take the Accredited Veterinary Assistant exam.
“Every staff member, including customer service representatives, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, and veterinarians, is involved in the externship training,” Allie Whartenby, CVT, technician supervisor and instructor in the MCCC program, said. “Students are assigned to different staff members who sign off on the student’s skills checklist when they have successfully completed a task.”
Running the externship involves a big investment on the part of the practice, Whartenby admitted. “In a busy hospital setting, it does require more responsibility from the staff and a lot more time, effort, and energy. Staff have to take the time to explain what they are doing and why. They also have to show the students how to properly care for patients and communicate with clients and each other.”
But the return on that investment, for both Princeton and the community, has been big, especially when you consider the cost of hiring and training new employees.
“We usually hire one to two students from each externship group,” said Whartenby. “Many of these students are still working with us and have moved on to working as noncredentialed veterinary technicians and still advancing their skills. In fact, at present, six members of our team graduated from the MCCC veterinary assistant program.”
Other practices in the community have hired graduates. They have also offered extended shadowing and volunteer opportunities. How’s that for turning danger into opportunity?
M. Carolyn Miller, MA, is a seasoned writer who loves creative solutions to market challenges.
Our team supported the Flying Fur Rescue film screening in Princeton in June 2019! Flying fur is an animal rescue documentary and we had the pleasure of being invited to the screening! We had a table outside with information for adoptive pet parents looking to support animal rescue. Many rescue groups attended and it was a beautiful day! Please enjoy some of our photos!
We recently had the pleasure of being a part of West Windsor Community Day! A day that celebrated community, diversity and unity. At our booth children got to play games and Rasha painted kids faces! We gave out carnations to all the Moms that visited our booth for Mothers day and kids even got to pet our Technician Caety's dog Maddie! It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to be a part of such a wonderful, fun day! We love our community!
We recently visited Lightbridge Academy in Plainsboro to meet with the young students! Dr. Pope, Allie and Melissa's pup Whren spoke to the students about dog safety and what it is like to be a veterinarian. Whren soaked up all the attention while Dr. Pope and Technician Allie taught the students how to listen for a heartbeat. Everyone had so much fun! How cute are they in their caps, shoe covers and masks!
Our hospital's management team approached Mercer County Community College, in West Windsor Township, regarding a Veterinary Technician
Assistant program. A program of this nature enables us to provide local Princeton area residents and surrounding areas, with the opportunity to expose this rewarding field to the public and offer training in veterinary medicine. Princeton Animal Hospital, in conjunction with Mercer County Community College, together developed the curriculum and officially began the first leg of this journey in 2010. Princeton Animal Hospital holds the honor of being the official on-site externship location. Providing support for such a community program is an exciting venture for our hospital and provides opportunities to students for future employment. READ MORE
Animal Behavior College is an on line school, based out of California, for veterinary assistants to obtain their certification. An important part of any coursework in the veterinary industry requires students to fulfill a certain number of hours in a clinical setting to gain hands on experience. Princeton Animal Hospital & Carnegie Cat Clinic is thrilled to offer the support of our amazing team and our state of the art facility, to help our community's students fulfill their clinical hours. For more information on ABC, CLICK HERE.
The animal hospital is proud to support staff shadowing for community students from elementary ages all the way through high school students who are interested in the veterinary field of medicine. Students receive school credits through this amazing learning experience and allows our veterinary hospital to foster a love of veterinary medicine for our community students.
Our practice also participates in various fund raisers. We encourage the community and our clients and accept donated pet food for homeless animals. We sincerely thank all our thoughtful clients and residents of Princeton, West Windsor, Plainsboro etc. who, each year, donate an overwhelming and generous supply of pet food for Easel Animal Rescue League.
We are also a proud sponsor of the Pets for Patriots rescue mission. Pets for Patriots helps United States military veterans adopt a new pet friend while giving the most overlooked shelter dogs and cats hope and a home. Every day veterans take their own lives. Every eight seconds a dog or cat is put to sleep for lack of anyone to adopt them. Companion pet adoption saves two lives. Visit our Pets for Patriots site at CLICK HERE to learn more!
We have started carrying hand-made dog toys that are made by Youth Charity Organization (YCO), a local group in our community. We are accepting donations of $10.00 for the large toys and $5.00 for the small toys. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Attitudes In Reverse (AiR) foundation, a non-profit that YCO chose to support. AiR helps communities face mental disorders through education. All proceeds from these cute toys will help provide mental health education to youth locally & nationally.