- May 2018
Animal Health Technician
College of Veterinary Medicine
MSU Starkville Campus
Years in Position: 11
Years at MSU: 11
When she was a child, Emily Childers filled a bathtub with spiders because she considered them her friends. It is no surprise, then, that she works as an Animal Health Technician for the Shelter Medicine program at Mississippi State University.
“I think I was meant to work with animals,” Childers said. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
She fulfills this goal by leaving campus at 7:30 a.m. every morning. With a team of doctors, technicians, and students, Emily travels on a mobile unit that will arrive at one of five different animal shelters in North Mississippi.
The mobile unit, founded 11 years ago, proves especially important to Childers, because she was one of the inaugural technicians on board. Though she hopes to do this work forever, she said that it can be demanding.
“On a typical day, I work on a 38-foot gooseneck. We have three different surgeries going at a time, which medical students perform, and then the rest of us spay and neuter,” Childers said.
Her unit spays and neuters up to 30 animals a day, free of charge to any shelter. They do this with one goal in mind: to save lives.
Childers says that spaying and neutering helps lower the intense animal population rates in the South. Warm yearly weather and a lack of strict neutering laws for pet owners contribute to filling shelters that are already overwhelmed. Ultimately, she said her work helps make “adoptable animals more adoptable.”
Another positive aspect of Childers’ job is the hands-on education it provides students and the community. Students in the veterinary medicine program perform surgeries each day with the supervision of a doctor, and their work encourages community members to adopt, spay, or neuter animals.
“It’s fun. It’s never boring, always high pace, and it keeps you on your toes,” Childers said.
When she is not at work, Childers still saves lives. She fosters many animals – especially cats -- through MSU’s Homeward Bound program.