There are six furry members of the Crowder College community who are in need of new, loving homes by Thanksgiving.

There are six furry members of the Crowder College community who are in need of new, loving homes by Thanksgiving.

Three dogs and three cats, members of the college’s veterinary technology program, are up for adoption.

Shawna Estep, veterinary technology program instructor, said the college usually adopts six dogs and six cats from the Joplin Humane Society each semester.

Those animals serve in providing hands-on experience for the veterinary technology students, who, under the watchful eye of their professors, are responsible for spaying, neutering, and giving the animals their vaccinations, among other tasks.

“While they’re here they’re vaccinated, tested for heartworms and tested for feline leukemia,” Estep said. “It’s a hands-on opportunity to learn on a real animal.”

Estep said for many lessons, students first learn and practice on models, or anatomy cats, before performing on the live animals.

Estep said due to USDA licensing and other regulations, the veterinary technology program can only work with animals owned by Crowder College.

This semester, based on the program’s current enrollment, and the availability of healthy, non-spayed or neutered animals at the humane society, the Crowder veterinary program adopted eight animals. Two of the eight, one dog and one cat, have already found future homes.

“They’re just staying here until the end of the semester,” Estep said. “They’re still here for students to work on them in labs and then they’ll be able to go home right before Thanksgiving.”

Estep said if a home has not been found for the animals before the end of the semester, the dogs and cats would have to be returned to the humane society, though she said they have not faced that problem before.

“That would just be so hard to do,” Estep said.

Estep said an important aspect of the adoption process is making sure the family is the right fit for their new member. She said those interested in adopting must first fill out an extensive application.

“The adoption application is a three or four page long application and it includes how you intend to discipline the pet and where they will sleep,” Estep said. “It’s just to try to get an idea if they intend on chaining it to the dog house or if they intend on it being part of their family. Obviously, our goal is to bond these animals to somebody’s family and not just be a dog that they chain in the back yard.”

Steffanie Stevens, president of the veterinary technology club, said having the animals to work with not only provides great hands-on experience, but also a fun learning environment.

She said while those in the veterinary technology program become attached to the animals, seeing them get adopted can be rewarding.

“I know they’re going to good homes, which some of them may have never had before,” Stevens said.

Crowder College does not charge for adoptions, though a $25 fee is included for the animal’s first year of microchip coverage.

Estep said that fee is not kept by Crowder, but transferred on to the Home Again pet ID and recovery system, to allow for the animal to be traced back to its home if ever lost.

Estep said she hopes to have all animals adopted by Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Those interested in applying to adopt an animal can do so by emailing Estep at, or by emailing Dr. Stephanie Watson-Bruto at