Animal owners invest in student and pet futures
by John DeFoor
Apr 30, 2012 | 1728 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville resident Seth Donn holds his dog, John, as Dr. Spencer Tally administers a rabies vaccination as a part of the Bartow County 4-H Rabies Clinic.
JOHN DeFOOR/The Daily Tribune News
Cartersville resident Seth Donn holds his dog, John, as Dr. Spencer Tally administers a rabies vaccination as a part of the Bartow County 4-H Rabies Clinic. JOHN DeFOOR/The Daily Tribune News
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Bartow County 4-H Club students and staff members of the Pet Vet Clinic in Cartersville worked together Saturday to vaccinate household pets from rabies and raise money for student education and animal care.

The drive-through clinic was held at Cartersville First Baptist Church from 9 to 11 a.m. and then at United Community Bank Adairsville from 1 to 2 p.m.

"It's a double advantage," said Dr. Spencer Tally from the Pet Vet Clinic. "We're helping the 4-H kids to raise money to go to certain programs. It also helps people in the area that have multiple dogs that normally wouldn't go into the clinic to get the rabies shot. Rabies is on the increase and this helps to keep the animals safe, and of course with humans too that might get bitten by a rabid dog."

Allison Perkins is an University of Georgia 4-H agent for Bartow County, who helped organize the event.

"In the news you see all these animals that have been diagnosed with rabies -- foxes, even domesticated cats and animals that maybe have been set out in the world," she said. "I heard of a story recently about a cat coming up to a restaurant and people petting it -- and it had rabies. So, it really is important to get your animal vaccinated to help with not only public safety and public health, but it also helps our 4-H here by giving back to the program."

Part of the funds additionally went to the Pet Vet Clinic's Animal Angel Fund -- "The money that we take in from this event helps people who come in that don't have funds." said Tally. "This allows us to be able to treat their animals when normally they wouldn't be able to be treated."

According to Perkins, this was the 4-H Club's third year working with Tally.

"In the past we've done 300 to 400 shots every year," she said. "A rabies shot has to be given by a licensed veterinarian, so Dr. Tally administers every shot and our youth help with the paperwork. So, it's a really great way to keep the youth involved by seeing, this is how this all works. We have 4-H'ers who do projects in vet. science so they get to work with Dr. Tally and get hands on experience for a career option that they might have later on in life."

Madison Holman, from Euharlee, was one such student.

"I want to be a veterinarian when I get older," Holman said. "I feel the 4-H will help me get there because I've done so many projects. What we do is we get the forms and help them fill it out. I feel that if you help your community, your community will help you back."

"4-H works from 5th grade all the way up to 12th grade, so we ask middle school'ers and most high school'ers to come help with this event," Perkins said. "We try to develop life skills like public speaking, community service, and leadership, so this is one of our community service projects. All of our different programs promote whatever career option they might want to have."

15-year-old Ezra Hall from Cartersville High hopes to go to UGA for a degree in law and political science. "This event will go on my portfolio for DPA, which is the District Project Achievement," he said. "4-H not only provides a backbone for today's youth, but it also allows for them to have good clean fun, and be able to meet new people and get out there and help your community. It's just all around good program that I'm so happy our university system sponsors."

"My favorite experience I think is to see the kids learn how to run a business," said Tally. "They're really running this -- they do all the background work, they're learning how you buy supplies, you have labor, and then how you end up having enough money to do something responsible."

"One of the great things doing this kind of this event is that most of these pet owners bring from five to seven at a time, and they wouldn't normally take those to a veterinarian simply because it would cost more," Perkins said. "Of course, in these times everyone is looking to try and save money wherever they can. It is a required-by-law shot that they have to have. This gives them the opportunity to get a discounted shot and to help two organizations out: 4-H and the Animal Angel Fund."