Anthem College-Phoenix Students, Instructors Treat Veteran's Pets at Annual StandDown Event

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Eleven students and four instructors treated 173 pets and distributed donated intems

Vet Tech students from Anthem College-Phoenix volunteered at Arizona StandDown

This kind of event exposes students to real-life situations that reignite their passion for veterinary medicine and their interest in helping others.

--Julie Carlson, Veterinary Technology Instructor, Anthem College-Phoenix

More than 100 Veterans took their beloved pets for check-ups and treatment provided by the Veterinary Technology Department at Anthem College-Phoenix during this year’s Arizona StandDown event.

The Arizona StandDown is a three-day event that provides assistance to homeless and at-risk Veterans that takes place every February at Phoenix’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum. More than 50 state and federal agencies participate, including the Department of Economic Security, county courts, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans receive new clothes and shoes, meals, showers, and haircuts. They are also connected to housing, healthcare, and mental health services for Veterans.

The term StandDown comes from a practice during the Vietnam War where soldiers were given a three-day break from battle. The metaphor refers to veterans battling life on the very streets that they fought to defend.

Julie Carlson, an instructor with the Veterinary Technology Department at Anthem College-Phoenix, has run the veterinary services at StandDown for the past five years. Each year, she asks her students to volunteer.

“This year was no exception,” Carlson says. “Eleven students and four instructors gave their time and skills to help 125 veterans and their pets: 135 dogs and 38 cats. Our Vet Tech students took histories, performed physical exams, cleaned ears, trimmed toenails, and treated wounds.” Many pets received vaccinations as well.

The event, Carlson says, “exposes students to real-life situations that reignite their passion for veterinary medicine and their interest in helping others.” In January, Carlson appealed to her Anthem colleagues for donations and collected “enough pet food, toys, beds, coats, collars, and leashes to stuff my garage.” These items were distributed as well.

Almost 1,300 veterans attended this year’s StandDown, 245 more than in 2011. Carlson is already helping event organizers plan for next year.

Anthem College-Phoenix offers an Associate of Science degree in Veterinary Technology. The program holds provisional accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Program graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. (RVT). The college also provides career-focused training in several healthcare fields and in paralegal and computer networking & security.

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About Anthem College

Originally established in 1982, Anthem College-Phoenix is part of Anthem Education, a Phoenix, Arizona-based family of schools and colleges that provides career-focused training and education programs at 23 accredited institutions in 15 states as well as online. The Anthem Education family of schools includes Anthem College, Anthem College Online, Anthem Career College, Anthem Institute, Morrison University, and The Bryman School of Arizona. For more information, visit

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at


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