The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech will open its doors to the public during an Annual Open House on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to learn about veterinary medicine and the college through tours, demonstrations, and lectures.

The Open House will take place on the veterinary college’s Blacksburg campus, located at 245 Duck Pond Drive, and will feature guided tours of its 270,000-square-foot complex, which includes the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students will lead hour-long tours beginning at 11 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The family-friendly event will also feature activities designed expressly for children such as face painting, a wildlife exhibit, an anatomy lesson with a painted horse, and a demonstration on how to safely approach and interact with dogs. Veterinary students will offer special tours for elementary-age children. Third-year students will also help “surgically repair” any stuffed animals that children bring to the Open House during a Teddy Bear Repair Clinic, open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lectures and information sessions will address topics ranging from food animal medicine, to radiography, to preparing a competitive application for veterinary school. Demonstrations will cover numerous topics, such as horseshoe making, small animal ultrasound, and dog agility and obedience. At 12:30 p.m., a panel discussion for middle and high school students interested in becoming a veterinarian will feature the college’s class presidents.

The day will also include a session that will answer the question, “What’s a veterinary emergency?” Participants will learn how to recognize emergency situations, what items should be brought to the vet, and what first aid items to have at home.

A silent auction with gift certificates and merchandise from local merchants, as well as merchandise provided by the college’s clubs and organizations, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with winners announced at 2:15 p.m. Auction items can be purchased by cash and check only.

For biosecurity and health safety reasons, no animals will be allowed in the building or hospital areas. In the event of rain, outside demonstrations and information sessions will be canceled.

The Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association hosts the Annual Open House each spring with assistance from several other student organizations at the college. Members of the college’s service fraternity, Omega Tau Sigma, and the Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians will collect dog food and toy donations for a local animal shelter. For the first time, student organizers are also partnering with a local shelter to showcase animals that are available to adopt or foster.

Written by Michael Sutphin.
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