Helping homeless pets get another chance at life and love is all in a day’s work for veterinarian Katherine Daigle.
Name: Katherine Daigle
Profession: Animal Shelter Veterinarian
What do you do for a living?
I am a veterinarian for the Arizona Humane Society. I work in AHS’ trauma hospital, which is an emergency room for homeless pets and helps care for 11,000 patients each year! I care for stray sick and injured dogs, cats, and rabbits from all over the Valley, and treat them so they can get adopted. I perform surgery, give medicine, take X-rays, and place bandages.
What type of training do you need to do your job?
After high school, I attended eight years of college to become a veterinarian. My training didn’t stop there though; there are always new and exciting treatments for animals! Every year I attend conferences so I can learn more about animals. Right now I am back in school working on my Master’s Degree in Shelter Medicine.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love making animals feel better. I have to be a detective so I can figure out what is wrong, since the animals can’t talk and tell me! It is so rewarding when an animal is healthy and happy; I love when they wag their tails at me and give me kisses.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I grew up on a small farm and spent my childhood caring for dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and chickens. My life has revolved around animals. I didn’t know much about animal shelters until I started working at the Arizona Humane Society. I realized how important my job is since I care for animals with no home or owner and the Arizona Humane Society takes in the animals who are very sick or very injured and have only us to care for them. I am very thankful to be in a career that I am so passionate about.
What advice would you give to a kid who wants to have a similar career?
If you love animals and want to help them, go to veterinary school. I focused on math and science, and even took Latin in high school. This really helped me in college. I also worked for a veterinarian in high school. It is very important to have hands-on experience in a veterinary clinic before going to veterinary school. The Arizona Humane Society also offers summer and spring break camps for all ages, which can help you decide if you want to work with animals.
One fun fact NOT about your job?
I love to cook, and plan to go to cooking school when I retire from being a vet. I especially like that you get to eat while you learn.