NORTH ANDOVER — Jullian Nazzaro and Alexandra Labrecque, sophomores at North Andover High School, are more than mere lovers of animals.
Their love and passion for the other species that inhabit the planet drove them to organize the North Andover High School Pre-Veterinarian Club in November. Nazzaro and Labrecque both aspire to become veterinary surgeons.
That’s a hefty goal, considering that getting accepted into a school of veterinary medicine is even more difficult than winning a place at a medical school. Nazzaro noted that there are far more medical than veterinary schools.
“It’s very competitive,” Labrecque said of the challenge of getting accepted into a veterinary school. She also noted that while medical schools train their students to treat just one species, a veterinary school must provide instruction on how to provide care for a wide variety of animals: dogs, cats, horses, cattle, reptiles, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and many others.
The Pre-Veterinary Club is not restricted to students who want to become veterinarians. The group is open to students with other ambitions who love animals, Nazzaro and Labrecque said.
For example, Taylor Leitch, also a sophomore, hopes to become a meteorologist. Another club member, Mari Tarantino, a sophomore, has her sights set on a career as an anesthesiologist.
The club now has eight members, according to Nazzaro and Labrecque. All of them are girls. Labrecque and Nazzaro are trying to recruit more members and have placed posters around the school advertising the club.
Raising money to support animal hospitals and shelters is one of the club’s activities. They have had numerous bake sales and this past Monday, they arranged a fundraiser at Mad Maggies ice cream stand.
A portion of the shop’s earnings between 3 and 6 p.m. was donated to the Shadow Fund, which helps pay for veterinary care for pets whose owners can’t afford it. They raised $93.20.