Friday and Saturday offered an animal extravaganza for animal lovers of all ages at the 26th annual Veterinary Teaching Hospital Open House with the theme of "Animals are the link to friendship."
The event was planned throughout the school year. Sara Almon and Ashley Fields, who are both first-year veterinary students, spearheaded most of the planning for this year's event.
The open house was a learning experience for both future veterinarians and children alike. Local schools and 4-H groups from around the area were informed of the event and attendance was estimated to be around 3,000, Almon said.
Numerous stations were set up within the hospital. One station allowed families to view the inside expecting mother dogs through X-ray photos.
CSU's Veterinary Medicine Club was at the event and the teaching hospital sold T-shirts.
Lectures on topics such as cat and dog first aid and lameness diagnosis in the horse were accented by demonstrations by the Fort Collins K-9 unit and the Superfly Allstars, a Fort Collins-based group that trains its dogs to participate in a relay race while performing tricks.
"I think it's important for the community to understand what the vet hospital and school is all about. It gives people who bring their pets here the chance to meet the students," Almon said.
Many events were designed with families in mind. A petting zoo featuring rabbits and young goats gave children hands-on experience with the animals while another booth allowed children to perform mock surgeries on stuffed animals. Students from the teaching hospital staffed all the booths, and an estimated 250 students participated in the event, Almon said.
"The kids get to put on gowns and the gloves and dig around inside stuffed animals until they find a lollipop," said Jenny Long, a third-year veterinary student.
There were also tours of both the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the Rocky Mountain Raptor Center.
"I like going through the anesthesiology tables," said Jace Articoker, a sixth-grade student at Peak to Peak Charter School, about his favorite event at the open house. "If you were a doctor you would have to put defogger on your glasses."