For Veterinary Technician Week 2018, we’re not just celebrating our wonderful vet techs – we’re introducing them to you! Vet techs assist veterinarians in every aspect of animal health care, and they care deeply about our animals – often in very practical ways. We couldn’t do without them. (Meet our other vet tech, Julie.)
Lauren Miele, part-time vet tech at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
How long have you been a vet tech – and when did you begin at PDZA?
Lauren: I’ve been a veterinary technician for nearly 8 years, and I started at PDZA five months ago. I grew up around here, in Kingston, and graduated from a Veterinary Technician program in Seattle. I worked in small animal practice for about 4 years before getting my Bachelors Degree in Zoology at Oregon State University. While there, I worked as a vet tech in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s ICU, and then moved to California to intern at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in their Sea Otter Research and Conservation program. While there I helped with the healthcare and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured Sea Otters.
Right now I work three days a week at the Zoo, and three at a small animal emergency hospital.
What does your daily work look like?
Lauren: Julie Lemon, the full-time vet tech, has extensive knowledge in the field, so I do my best to not only learn from her, but help her in any way that I can. I do all the technician things she doesn’t have time to do. Days can get very busy very quickly. I help with exams, set up for procedures, clean up after procedures, fill medications, etc. Today we finished the annual exams for all the penguins, so I spent three hours in the lab prepping everyone’s blood samples.
What do you love most about your work?
Lauren: It’s such a rewarding job to work with animals and create relationships with both them and their keepers. I enjoy being a part of the medicine that helps an animal reach their full health potential. Just the overall caring for animals – that’s what I love.
Tell us about you – what do you do in your spare time? Do you have pets?
Lauren: I have a three-year-old Golden Retriever, and my favorite thing is going for beach walks or hikes with him! I don’t have much free time, but I love being outdoors.
-Rosemary Ponnekanti, PDZA