The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech will open its doors to the public for a behind-the-scenes look at the college during its annual Open House on March 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors will be given opportunities to learn about veterinary medicine and the college by way of tours, exhibits, demonstrations, and lectures.

The Open House will be held on the veterinary college’s Blacksburg campus, located at 245 Duck Pond Drive. Parking will be available in the fenced commuter/graduate parking lot (known as “the Cage”) off Duck Pond Drive. A sign will be placed to direct visitors to the parking lot entrance.

All attendees are encouraged to stop by the check-in area in front of the veterinary college complex to pick up event information, a map, a passport, and tour tickets. Led by veterinary students and lasting approximately 45 minutes, tours of the college’s 270,000-square-foot complex, including the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, will depart every 10 minutes beginning at 10 a.m. The last tour will leave at 2 p.m.

The HokieBird will be on premises for this family-friendly event, which features activities designed specifically for children, including horseshoe painting, face painting, a “future surgeon” photo booth, and a high-fidelity cow model that can be “milked.” Ice cream from Homestead Creamery will be available to those who “milk” the cow.

Children may bring their own stuffed animal (one per child) in need of “surgery,” which will be performed by third-year students during a Teddy Bear Repair Clinic from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A limited number of stuffed animals in need of a loving home after their surgery will be available.

Dining options will include food trucks, Thai This and The Grillfield, in the college’s front parking lot. In addition, a silent auction with gift certificates and merchandise from local merchants will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with winners announced at 2:15 p.m.

Lectures and information sessions will address such topics as equine gut anatomy, pet first aid, and what prospective students need to know about applying to veterinary school.

Covering a wide range of topics, demonstrations will include ultrasound exams on dogs, live horses painted to represent their internal anatomy, police canine demonstrations, tiny cameras called endoscopes, and more.

For biosecurity and health safety reasons, visitors will not be permitted to bring their pets or other animals into the building or hospital areas during Open House. In the event of rain or inclement weather, outside demonstrations and activities may be canceled.

The veterinary college is hosting the Open House with support from the student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association and other student organizations. The college encourages attendees to bring dog food and toy donations that students will collect at the event and donate to the Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Rebecca Stinson-Dixon, associate director of student support and admissions, at 540-231-1184 or during regular business hours at least three business days prior to the event.

The college extends its gratitude to the event’s corporate sponsors: Purina, Hills Pet Nutrition, Royal Canin, Zoetis Animal Health, and Elanco Animal Health.

— Written by Juliet Crichton

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