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Windward // Windward Oahu Coverstory
Carol Chang

WCC Opens New Annex For Veterinary Studies

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and 'first dog' Kanoa get a first look at Windward Community College's new Vet Tech learning facility Jan. 31 with state Sen. Jill Tokuda (left) and Sen. Clayton Hee, who bonds with a 'practice' dog following the dedication ceremonies. Photo by Peter Tully Owen.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and ‘first dog’ Kanoa get a first look at Windward Community College’s new Vet Tech learning facility Jan. 31 with state Sen. Jill Tokuda (left) and Sen. Clayton Hee, who bonds with a ‘practice’ dog following the dedication ceremonies. Photo by Peter Tully Owen.

Windward Community College recently dedicated a new Veterinary Technology Annex, which is good news for Hawaii pets and for those aspiring to heal and help them.

Formerly operating out of old state hospital quarters, the new 2,000-square-foot annex is part of the Hale ‘Imiloa Science Complex. It boasts its own X-ray room, a surgery room with two tables, a canine ward with six kennels, a feline/exotic animal ward with 16 “pet condos” and a large treatment room for exams, dental cleaning and blood tests.

Veterinarian John Kaya, who directs the WCC program (and writes a MidWeek pet column), called it “an operational veterinary hospital minus the waiting room and reception area.”

The only program in the state to award a vet tech degree, WCC requires an intensive two-year study with 70 class credits and many hours of hands-on animal procedures. Certificate programs for veterinary paraprofessionals also are awarded. The American Veterinary Medical Association gave WCC provisional accreditation last March, pending completion of the new annex.

“Some students in the program are getting hired by clinics even before they graduate,” noted WCC chancellor Doug Dykstra.

The Jan. 31 blessing and dedication were attended by Hawaii’s “first dog” Kanoa and owner Gov. Neil Abercrombie, along with lawmakers, officials, faculty, students and community members.

“I really like it a lot, because it’s a chance for us to have our own facility and actually learn,” said WCC vet tech student Ashley Natividad, “because other buildings are just mainly for, like, science, and this building is specifically for us.”

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