Desoto County News

Inspiring future veterinarians through wildlife education

By Bailee Harris 

“One, we hope they learn compassion for animals because so many kids don’t have that. And maybe sparks a little fire in one of those littles’ hearts to one day become a veterinarian or someone who helps animals.”

Magnolia Wildlife Education, Conservation, and Rehabilitation is on a mission to spark a compassion for animals in the hearts of children in DeSoto County. Through their innovative vet carts, they are providing educational tools for students and teachers alike. 

The vet carts include a scale, stuffed animal patients, test tubes, syringes, stethoscopes, scrubs, and X-ray board, and intake sheets. 

Debra Crum, Executive Director for Magnolia Wildlife, shares “By creating these carts, we were able to provide the teacher with the materials needed, along with the instruction on how we use them and how they can incorporate them in their classroom.” 

Local DeSoto County businesses have generously sponsored these vet carts for local teachers to use in their classrooms for various purposes for a donation of $250. Currently, 40 teachers are sponsored in DeSoto County Schools with 120 teachers signed up. Magnolia Wildlife ensured that every school was represented before distributing double carts.

“I would like to venture out into Shelby County Schools as well. I want our DeSoto County sponsors to sponsor our DeSoto County teachers, and I would like to find some Shelby County businesses that will sponsor Shelby County schools.” Crum also shared that they hope to represent the Tate and Oxford areas.

The carts are both versatile and sustainable. Beyond veterinary lessons, teachers can explore dentistry and other fields for their students, still maintaining compassion for wildlife.

 “You can actually kind of make that cart go with multiple different lessons. It’s something they can use indoor recess time when it’s raining or freezing outside,” Crum says. 

Teachers are encouraged to keep the carts for as long as they need them, passing them on to other educators when they are ready. 

“I think it’s awesome for the kids because it’s something different. The teachers just don’t have a lot of resources provided to them unfortunately. When our local businesses do this, multiple people benefit.” Crum continues, “Our local businesses can get a tax write-off, the teachers get another resource for teaching that they wouldn’t normally have, and most importantly, the kids get learning lessons that they wouldn’t have had.” 

For businesses looking to make a difference, sponsoring a vet cart is an investment into the future. To join this cause and become a vet cart sponsor, reach out to Debra Crum at 901-254-4295.

“If we can teach them young, our wildlife and love for nature will flourish for years to come.”

Bailee Harris is a reporter/contributor for DeSoto County News