Technician’s Skills Prove Valuable on Customer Service Team
Devon Krichbaum, a veterinary technician on the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study’s customer service team, always knew she wanted to work with animals.
“When I was little I would set my dogs up on the back porch and pretend to be their veterinarian, giving them checkups and treating them with dog biscuit “medicine,” she recalls.
When it came time for college, however, Devon thought about pursuing a degree in communications. She didn’t believe she could be a veterinarian and had all but given up on her dream to work with animals. Then, a friend insisted Devon join her on a trip to a technical school to look into a degree as a veterinary technician.
“In one afternoon of speaking to a veterinary technician and touring the facilities I knew that was where I belonged,” says Devon, who graduated from Median School of Allied Health Careers and became licensed in 2004. “There are not many people who can honestly say they love their jobs, but I am one of those lucky few.”
Veterinary technicians are in high demand, which provides many career options in the world of animal health care. Devon worked in Pennsylvania (State College), Texas and Massachusetts, before returning home to southwestern Pennsylvania to work as an emergency technician. She has worked with a variety of pets, including ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles, birds and, of course, cats and dogs. Devon says that working in emergency was one of the most rewarding and heartbreaking jobs she’s had.
“There is absolutely no better feeling in the world than to help a critically ill patient and to see them walk out the door with their owner, well on the road to recovery,” she says. Those feel-good emotions helped Devon through the times when patients couldn’t be saved. She saw many cancer diagnoses, and it stuck with her how often Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers came in with telltale signs of hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive cancer. These dogs were happy and seemingly healthy and then suddenly they were very ill and time became precious. “Witnessing this broke my heart every time,” Devon says.
While working at the emergency clinic, Devon became ill with chronic anemia. She knew she wouldn’t be able to maintain the long, hectic shifts of emergency work.
“I thought I would have to take a job that would leave me feeling unfulfilled and that I wouldn’t be helping animals any more, but fate stepped in,” she says. Devon was asked to join the customer service team for Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. “I now work on a study that has the potential to help so many dogs. To be a part of the largest study undertaken for canine health is such an amazing opportunity.”
To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and our other programs please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.