Get Wild With The Small And Exotic Animal Club
It’s no secret that most college students are animal-deprived. If Penn Staters own pets, they are often hundreds of miles away in their hometowns. And something about the squirrels and bunnies on campus doesn’t quite fill the void created by missing your very own four-legged friend. Luckily, a group at Penn State lets students curb their cravings for animal interaction. But instead of dogs and cats, these students deal with some, um, extreme animals. Meet the Small and Exotic Animal Club.
This club is associated with the College of Agricultural Science, and is dedicated to bringing students closer to our four-legged friends. It gives its members opportunities to volunteer, receive internship information, learn more about small and exotic animals, and much more. However, the Small and Exotic Animal Club, or SEAC for short, is not just for AgSci majors. It’s open to anyone with a love for animals.
“The club is open to any student with the desire to learn about companion and exotic animals and the human-animal bond,” the official Small and Exotic Animal club website states.
Mindy Bernard, a current senior and president encourages anyone to join SEAC for its unique opportunities and relaxed nature.”We provide our members a bunch of different opportunities with animals throughout the area,” Bernard said. “If you want to be involved in something, this is the club to join. It’s really laid back and we don’t run our club with the ‘first come, first serve’ mentality, everyone gets equal chances.”
Those opportunities include trips to zoos, traveling to wildlife reserves, volunteering at animal shelters, and visits from guest speakers of various fields. “We volunteer with organizations like Centre County PAWS — which is a shelter for cats and dogs, and others,” Bernard said. “Along with volunteering, we have some exciting guest speakers that come to our bimonthly meetings. Our speakers range from wildlife rehabilitation employees to trainers of K-9 units, so we get some animal visitors from time to time.”
(Photo: Small and Exotic Animal Club)
One of SEAC’s guest speakers brought a feathery friend with him. Jason Beale from Shaver’s Creek brought one of the center’s birds for the club. But maybe you already knew about this bird’s Penn State debut. He did, after all, make the Campus Story.
“An opportunity for our members to hear what they can do in the area is the main goal with our guest speakers,” Bernard said. “When people think of Animal Science majors, they usually think of veterinarians. With our speakers, however, it gives you a wide variety of what you can do outside of just veterinary. Most of our speakers have internships and volunteer opportunities so members can get directly involved by just coming to the meetings.”
SEAC also puts on events like Pet Meet and Greets, and participates in the Penn State’s Ag Day and Ag Hill Olympics. Members can also get involved with club fundraisers, which include crafting pet stockings and pet valentines.
The Small and Exotic Animal club recently Lakota Wolf Reserve last Spring and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2014.
No matter if you want to volunteer to help animals, or just want to spend some time with fellow animal lovers, visit SEAC’s website for more information.