DERRY — This high school class has gone to the dogs.
Pinkerton Academy’s animal science students are learning all about dog grooming and pet care and the program’s Pet Palace is open for business.
The animal program is enjoying its first year in a new building on the lower end of the Derry campus. It opens its doors regularly to canine customers needing baths, trimming and grooming services.
All money earned goes back to support the program.
Under the guidance of Career/Technical Education teacher Katrina Hartlen-Mooers, students learn basic grooming, pet health, management skills, behavior, math, consumer information, customer relations and get a lot of hands-on experience.
Many of the pets coming to the Pet Palace belong to Pinkerton faculty, others belong to students’ families and the general public.
This year, there are many new faces.
Seniors Erica Leonard and Jessica Debenedetto spent a few hours working on Ivan, a dog getting some much-needed brushing and trimming.
Both students say what they are doing is important to future skills and career choices.
“It’s such a good learning experience,” Jessica said.
Hartlen-Mooers, in her 14th year at Pinkerton, said the class teaches the students not just how to care for the animals, but also about the business of working as groomers or veterinary technicians.
Even if students choose not to follow this type of career path,she said, what they learn at Pet Palace is still important.
“They learn to work together, relate to other people and learn to resolve conflict,” Hartlen-Mooers said.
Grooming prices at Pet Palace range from $18 up to $30. There are also shampoo services that cost only $2.
Animals are traditionally dropped off at 7 a.m. and then picked up by 2:30 p.m. For information, email to email@example.com.