Future vet champions animal welfare

Grad helped research how animals perceive their environment

Carly Moody wouldn’t go so far as to call herself a cat whisperer. But over the years, she has learned a thing or two about fretful felines.

“Be very calm, very gentle. Let the cat know they can trust you,” says Moody, who graduates this month with a BSc in applied animal biology from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS).

Moody has two rescue cats, both elderly females. When the one named Luciano began shredding her black leather couch, Moody says she didn’t bother using negative reinforcement.

“You’re better off to place a scratching post next to the furniture and train her to use that, especially if you spray it with a cat pheromone product like Feliway.”

Moody will know by June whether she’s been accepted into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, the only Canadian veterinary school open to B.C. residents.

“I have this huge passion for wanting to help animals,” says Burnaby native Moody. “They freely give love back. And; Just knowing that an animal is happier because of something you’ve done is an incredible feeling.”

Moody credits the LFS Animal Welfare Program (AWP) for opening her eyes to the treatment and use of animals. “The undergraduate AWP courses have taught me so much, and have definitely been a highlight of my time here at UBC.”

Moody assisted Animal Welfare Prof. Dan Weary in his research that explores how animals such as dairy cows or pigs interact and perceive their environment, and how to use that knowledge to create improvements.  “ I have a great interest in research and see myself pursuing this as a veterinarian.”

For the past five years, Moody has worked part-time at two animal hospitals. In addition to reception duties, Moody also has prepped animals for surgery and administered medications.

”We’ve dealt with hamsters, chickens, rabbits, reptiles, raccoons, ferrets, a seagull someone found on the road with a broken wing, and some really big snakes.”

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