College Station, TX – The pets and student residents who live at The Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center will soon have more room for stretching their 106 legs. The center, at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, will break ground on a new addition in the summer of 2002 to make room for ever more furry, feathered, and scaled residents. The project will increase the size of the center from 4800 to 8300 square feet, raising the capacity from 30 to about 75 animals. A permanent facility for large animals will also be included with the project.
The project will take an estimated eighteen months and $572,000 to complete. Funds raised for the new addition totaled over $525,000 as of December 1, 2001. In support of the project, the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine has committed up to $150,000 from unrestricted funds to be used in matching gifts. Any gift of $25,000 or more will be matched with $1.00 for every $2.00 gift.
“The center provides a great service to pet owners as well as providing educational opportunities to the veterinary students who attend to our residents’ needs,” said Dr. Henry L. “Sonny” Presnal, Director of the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center. “In light of the program’s dramatic growth and an always-increasing enrollment, which currently stands at over 250 animals, we knew that expanding the current facilities would be necessary to the program’s future success.”
The center’s housemates currently include 10 cats, 13 dogs, one bird, one pony, one llama and two student residents, who tend to the animals’ daily feeding and care as well as providing human companionship. Other staff includes the director, an administrative assistant, a veterinary technician and a part-time student worker. The new addition will provide space for two more student residents, who will help fill the need created by the increased animal capacity.
“My experience living at the center has been invaluable,” said Kelley Dees, a first year veterinary student and Student Resident at the Stevenson Center. “As a student of veterinary medicine, I have abundant, ‘hands on’ opportunities 24 hours a day to learn about and attend to the needs of companion animals, especially elderly pets. And, having the benefit of the Rosemary Shroyer Memorial Scholarship helps me afford my professional education.”
“The nicest part of my time at the center, however, has to be the animals themselves,” said Dees. “It is very gratifying to know that we are providing the love and attention they need when their owners can no longer care for them. The center’s upcoming expansion will create the room needed to accommodate the pets who are enrolled for our services in the future.”
Dedicated in 1993, the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center’s mission has been to provide life care for companion animals in a home-like environment after the owners can no longer care for them. In doing so, it provides educational opportunities for the college’s professional students who attend to the care and needs of the animals in the program. More information about the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center can be found at www.cvm.tamu.edu/petcare or by calling (979) 845-1188.