Published: Jul 7, 2010
Micol Castelbolognesi ’11 didn’t know what ringworm was until she
started volunteering at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Now she
recognizes it under a microscope.
The biology major spent the
first part of her summer turning her volunteer experience into a
for-credit internship. Working in the surgery ward, she prepped animals
for surgery by shaving and scrubbing them, helped with intubation,
inserted microchips, read lab samples and sterilized surgical tools.
she has spent so much time with us, she knows the animals and the
system. She’s even been inducing anesthesia,” said Dr. Terry Spencer,
the center’s veterinarian. “It is difficult to do our jobs here without
volunteers like Micol. We really need the extra eyes.”
grew up in Italy and lives in Switzerland. She came to UT, attracted by
the American style of higher education, and hopes to attend an American
veterinary school after graduation. As a freshman, Castelbolognesi’s
roommate found out about her penchant for animals and suggested she
volunteer at the Humane Society.
It took two years, but
Castelbolognesi started volunteering to walk dogs and play with the cats
in early January 2010. As the spring semester came to a close and her
time became less constrained, Castelbolognesi turned her volunteer
experience into an internship, spending four days a week at the clinic,
absorbing as much as she could.
“The only thing I can see myself
doing is working with animals,” said Castelbolognesi, who grew up
riding horses on her grandparents’ ranch. “My dream is to wake up in the
morning and go help animals.”
The experience at the Humane Society
has been invaluable, she said, allowing her opportunity for hands-on
work from reading fecal samples with the microscope to prepping dogs for
surgery. A dog she cared for was named Micol by the staff in her honor
and was adopted two days later.
While the internship is adding
value to Castelbolognesi’s resume, volunteer coordinator Ben Moehnert
said it is the Humane Society’s cats and dogs that are receiving the
“I wish we could have all of our volunteers be
like Micol. She is always willing to help with anything we need and is a
very hard worker,” Moehnert said. “She is a huge asset to our
organization, and we are lucky to have her.” Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
Sign up for UT Web Alerts