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I graduated from Guelph 2 years ago so as a disclaimer that somethings may have changed since I left When I was at Guelph they had a Foal Watch program for neonatal foals- I never actually got a foal on my shifts but I've heard if you do its an amazing experience (typically it starts around Feburary if I remember correctly). During College Royal they have several animals they need trained for their dog/horse shows, so it's definetely more challenging and you can enter in different "levels" that reflect your experience. I volunteered at WEEP (Wildlife Education and Environmental Programs) for a couple of years and if you want hands on experience with wildlife species I highly, HIGHLY recommend them; but it's become quite competitive to get in and it's not a volunteer position to take lightly (and not really a position for you if you're scared of animals with talons ) Guelph Humane Society used to accept volunteers for dog walking, cat/small animal socializing, and other miscellaneous tasks; and if you have the room in your home I know Barlee's Angels are continuously looking for foster homes for their resuces. Those the the animal-related experiences I can come up with from the top of my head- other than the vet clinics around the area- but I'm sure you've considered them already Good luck!
I don't go to Guelph, but it from what you posted, it seems that you're lacking some LA experience...Are there any dairy farms around UofG that you can go to to help out? Do you have any friends with horses or horse-people connections that you can volunteer to help groom/muck out after/general take care of? As June suggested, definitely look into SA fostering if you have the room/time...It is such a rewarding experience, and you learn a lot from it...Hope this helps, and good luck in everything!
For large animal, you might consider looking in to working with any of the research/teaching animals. I think the pigs have since left, but last summer they were short people to care for them. If you would like equine experience, Deb Ottier runs a volunteer program out of her barn and provides transport. Foal watch is also great, though you can be limited by available shifts/how many foals come in. There are also many clinics around the university-while often full, it doesn't hurt to send your resume around in case an opening comes up.
Remember a minimum of I believe 2 references MUST be from different vets, preferably from different clinics unless you saw different areas of practice (eg large and small) with 2 vets at the same clinic. It is very strongly recommended that these vet refs NOT be for experience gained at the OVC I believe, as they consider it more a 'teaching hospital' and like to see that you've gotten true 'clinical' experience. The exception would be if you worked with a vet on a research project or something like that, as that would be research not clinical experience anyways, which is perfectly valid, just not necessarily affected by the fact that ovc is a teaching hospital.
Hey Patrick, Foal watch is definitely a rewarding opportunity, if you have (or are planning to get) your rabies vaccine then you can definitely look into the large animal wards where the teaching horses and cattle are kept, you'll need your rabies vaccine if you're going to be applying into the foal watch program as well. As for the next FVC meeting well we've got some events coming up, we don't usually have too many meetings a year (just because well its not like we have a whole lot to talk about), the student panel is coming up on November 5 so more information will be posted!
There is usually research opportunities too if you build up the contact base for it, and if you're in need of horse experience then definitely get in contact with Deb Ottier you can learn how to handle horses, although a lot of the work is manual labour but its still a great experience. Also keep in mind volunteer work that isn't animal related but gets you out and about in the community, that is just as important as animal experience. The OVC is looking for well rounded people and if you can beef up your application with some volunteer work outside of the animal realm it doesn't hurt, it also gets you meeting new people =)