As far back as I can remember, animals have always been a part of my life. I recognized early on in life that communicating with animals was much easier for me then dealing with humans. Growing up in an urban apartment setting, animals were prohibited. Luckily, I had parents who were not afraid of exotic animals and let me explore the great love I had for them. I’ve had many wonderful species throughout my life, such as tarantulas, mice, rats and reptiles. My mother drew the line at snakes only because she was afraid of them. I had to wait until I was older and out on my own to finally own one. By the time I was in the fifth grade I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian and read everything I could about all different types of animals. At the time, I thought that was the only career there was that dealt with animals and caring for them. Boy, was I wrong!
Though I was a city kid, I was fortunate enough to go to a high school with an agricultural program. I spent several summers on dairy and horse farms gaining great respect for the farming aspect of dealing with animals. At this point I thought I wanted to be a equine veterinarian and after graduation attended an “AGGIE” program at SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate NY. Although I loved horses deeply, I didn’t find the satisfaction I was looking for when caring for them. The road to becoming a veterinarian seemed so long, and my grades were not as good as they should have been. I found myself at a crossroads, not knowing what to do. I no longer wanted to be a veterinarian, but I still had the burning desire to work daily with animals. Fortunately, my mother had a childhood friend who taught at a school with a program that he thought would suit my needs. I didn't want to leave the city again, so he urged my mother to make me look into a similar program in the city. As soon as I did, I knew that is where I wanted to be. Now, fourteen years later, I am grateful for the suggestion.
Working with animals in the biomedical research field has been both rewarding and trying at times. It takes a strong, compassionate individual to do this day in and day out. Your love for animals has to be so strong that it sometimes hurts in order to do this job well. I am very proud of my work as a laboratory veterinary technician in cancer research. I know that every little bit I give to all my animals will pay off in the long run for someone’s loved one or pet. Because individuals like myself put our hearts and souls into everything we do, you can feel confident that these animals are getting the best of care. If you love animals and want to do everything you can to benefit humans and animals, then a career in laboratory animal science may be for you.