Currently a Shelter Veterinarian in the Adoption Center of Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, MA, Dr. Helton also serves as a relief doctor at Banfield Pet Hospital a few times a month and volunteers as her schedule permits at the monthly Tufts Community Cat Clinics by helping students in the Operating Room while they perform surgery.
Favorite aspect of current job:
"I like surgery, so high volume, high quality spay neuter is definitely my favorite part of being a Shelter Veterinarian."
From the first day at Cummings School, Dr. Helton’s passion was to become a Shelter Veterinarian and immersed herself in the concentration by taking all available Shelter Medicine classes.
"I knew right off that’s what I wanted to do."
Dr. Helton worked as a tech at Banfield Pet Hospital throughout veterinary school and then following graduation, accepted a full-time position with Banfield.
Kudos for Cummings School:
Dr. Helton praises the Tufts at Tech clinical rotation as a unique opportunity where students take the lead role as veterinarians for the community, providing treatment plans, estimates, communicate with clients and perform examinations, diagnostics and surgeries on dogs and cats.
"Tufts best prepares students for becoming veterinarians by providing hands-on volunteer opportunities and clinical rotations. The Sunday Clinics for Community Cats and Worcester Housing Authority Wellness Clinics are invaluable learning opportunities that students can participate in before clinical year to gain real world experience early on in their education."
Advice for students interested in Shelter Medicine:
"For sure, take animal welfare selective and see if it interests you and definitely volunteer at the community cat clinics for hands on training."
Memory of Shelter Medicine at Cummings:
During her "Animal Welfare" class, Dr. Helton’s class was presented with the opportunity to participate in the annual Animal Welfare Judging Competition at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
"A group of students, including me, prepared for this competition over the summer, traveled to Ontario in the fall and competed against other vet schools. It was a really fun trip. I learned a lot and our group even won a couple of awards!"