Rider Loves Animals

ST. MARYS — Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

For MHS senior Dariann Rockwood, treating animals well is something that’s important in her life. Rockwood, who has two cats, said she has spent her whole life around animals and has grown to love them.

“They just seem so defenseless,” she said. “If people don’t (take care of them), who’s going to do it?”

Rockwood spends some of her free time volunteering for the Auglaize County Humane Society, cleaning out the animals’ cages, walking the dogs, and playing with the animals after all the necessary work is finished.

Rockwood said she enjoys the sense of accomplishment she gets after helping with the animals — the feeling that she has done something good with her time. Her time volunteering has convinced Rockwood that she wants to pursue a career as a veterinary technician.

“It’s like what a nurse would be to a doctor,” Rockwood said.

When she was younger, Rockwood recalled wanting to be a veterinarian, but the years of study put her off that career path. The program to become a vet tech is two years, which she decided was cheaper and a better fit for her and would still allow her to work with animals every day. Rockwood said her only fear would be to make a mistake that could cost an animal its life.

As there are no such programs in the area, Rockwood has been looking into schools in larger cities with highly recommended vet tech programs. The University of Cincinnati is high on her list, and she also knows of one in Toledo. Rockwood has her sights set on venturing away from St. Marys after completing such a program.

“My dream would be to work in some big animal hospital in, like, Chicago or New York, get a little cute studio apartment,” Rockwood said.