Corri Johnson knew from an early age that she wanted to work with animals.

Now in her fourth month of the Veterinary Assistant Diploma Program at Granville Business College, she’s close to accomplishing that goal.

“Now that I have a daughter, this is the next best thing to being a veterinarian,” she explained.

The intense 24-week program is mostly class-based and explores topics such as animal restraint, vaccines and animal diets.

The course has a three-week practicum where students are placed in a pet clinic or hospital.

Cathy Iormetti, one of the program’s teachers, said the growing importance of pets to their owners is making this a budding field.

“One reason veterinarian assistants are so vital is that pets are like people’s children,” she said.

“What people are willing to do for their animals is endless and it’s an industry that continues to grow and reflect that.”

Iormetti said the course is perfect for anyone who has a passion for both animals and people.

“Every animal has an owner,” she said.

The vet assistant program is Granville Business College’s sole program and boasts of assisting students with finding jobs once they’ve completed their diploma.

Career paths are not just limited to a veterinary assistant. Iormetti said some graduates have gone on to vet programs, into research fields and even working in pet insurance.

Johnson’s advice for prospective students was to have a positive attitude and to make a lot of time for studying.

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