Beginning on Monday May 5 and ending on May 7, Vieques had its first Pet Care Tour by JUNTOS. The JUNTOS Humane Education Program joined forces with the Isla Nena Animal Clinic and visited three public schools in Vieques to teach student how to be a responsible pet guardian and the importance of preventive medicine. As soon as we arrived the students immediately surrounded the clinic and didn’t even budge by the sound of the school bell. During the day they lined up to take part of this one of a kind event. Even lunch time was no reason for them to be distracted, many took advantage and had their tour for the second time. While outside of the clinic the children were energetic, loud and anxious, inside was another story. They had a chance to see first hand recreations of internal parasites such as heart-worms and even see the effects of external parasites on their pet’s skin. Many had never visited a veterinary clinic before even though they had pets. To some, it seemed to amaze them how delicate our pets health is. Watching Andrea Kaufman perform a check-up on a “patient” developed a sense of empathy in them since many of them associated veterinary procedures to the ones they’ve experienced in the past. During the orientation the students had the chance to enter the surgery area were they would get an idea of what occurs during a spaying procedure. No doubt, they learned how important it is to care for their pets beyond simply giving them food and water. I think the most important achievement of this tour was that they are more aware of their pet’s health. And that by simply spending a while with your pet every day you can tell when something is not right. The result of this tour was evident a few days after when the clinic received phone calls from students and parents wanting to schedule an appointment and parents, teachers and students approaching me to ask about their pet’s health and directions to the clinic. We look forward to our second annual Pet Care Tour.