“Virginia Tech Students Gain Valuable Research Experience Through Strolling with Shelter Cats”
– Students participating in a Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) internship at Virginia Tech had the opportunity to overcome their fear of cats and develop cat handling skills through a research project involving walking shelter cats.
– The experience not only provided the students with research experience but also opened their eyes to the potential incorporation of research and animal behavior into their future veterinary careers.
Heading: Virginia Tech Students Enhance Research Skills and Overcome Fear of Cats through Shelter Cat Strolls
Point 1 from Human enrichment:
Taking a stroll around the shelter wasn’t just enriching for the cats in the study, it gave the students valuable experience in applied research. The students, who were initially apprehensive about handling cats, were able to overcome their fears and gain confidence in cat handling skills. This hands-on experience will be beneficial for their future careers, particularly those interested in veterinary medicine.
Point 2 from Human enrichment:
The research project not only provided the students with research experience, but it also opened their eyes to new possibilities in their future careers. Through this project, the students realized the potential of incorporating research and animal behavior into their veterinary experiences. They now have a greater understanding of how they can contribute to improving animal welfare and strengthening the human-animal bond.
Looking ahead, the team plans to continue their work by implementing a volunteer walk program at the shelter to determine if stroller walks have any impact on adoption rates. Additionally, they aim to further explore the suggestion that walking a cat can enhance the human-animal bond. This study serves as a stepping stone for future research projects that can investigate the impacts of outings on shelter cat adoption rates.
The outcomes of this study also open doors for exploring how cat owners can share some of the benefits associated with walking dogs, such as increased exercise and more social interactions within their communities. The team encourages anyone interested to visit the Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center and consider taking one of the wonderful cats out for a stroll.