TCC graduate works with Iditarod dogs before this year’s race in Alaska

March 15, 2013

Ann Babst is a graduate of Tulsa Community College’s Veterinary Technician program and was recently featured in a Tulsa World story about her volunteer experience in Alaska.

She was part of a team responsible for checking all of the dogs that would take part in the Iditarod race. Those checkups are required of the dogs prior to the race start and involve collecting blood for a complete blood workup and doing an EKG to check the dog’s heart.

She was in Alaska in late February for two weeks and saw about 700 dogs. Babst described them as athletes- all muscle and well trained because the dogs perform at a high physical level. She said she was impressed with how the mushers take care of their dogs.

Babst said the vet tech volunteers came from all across the country. She explained part of the veterinary tech’s job besides drawing blood was to calm the dogs because some of them were scared.

Already back in Tulsa by the time the Iditarod started, she kept tabs on the race and even developed a few favorites after meeting and seeing the mushers and their dogs.

She said it was an amazing experience to work on the Iditarod dogs and help clear them for racing. Babst heard about the volunteer opportunity while vacationing in Alaska in the summer of 2012. She is already planning to return and volunteer again.

Photos: courtesy of Ann Babst