2023 Annual Open House and Teddy Bear Clinic

A hallway in the "barn" of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, full of visitors. A young child is in the foreground listening with a stethoscope to the heartbeat of a simulated dog.

With veterinary students at their side, a long line of children dressed into surgical gowns and performed surgery on their favorite torn teddy bears Saturday.

As in past WSU Family Weekends, the teddy bear surgery clinic, part of the annual WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Open House, was one of the most popular attractions across campus. The line of children varied throughout the day, but for much of the five-hour event the line lingered.

First-year veterinary student Kara Delgado, who, along with her peers at the Washington State University Student American Veterinary Medical Association, coordinated the event, said the teddy bear and surgery clinic was a great opportunity to introduce children to the veterinary field.

Third-year veterinary student Cordelia Leeder helps a child scrub up for surgery at the teddy bear surgery clinic at the annual WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Open House, Saturday, April 1, 2023.

In addition to teddy bear surgery, more than 25 student groups provided information and goodies to children. Hands-on ultrasound training, a cartoon veterinarian photo stand-in, and a variety of games to play and animals to pet also caught the attention of children. Not to mention, a WSU- and veterinary medicine-themed coloring book was available.

As always, dogs in attendance and Pumpkin, WSU’s anatomically painted cow, became celebrities among the children.

Tours of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital were provided by students serving as ambassadors to WSU’s veterinary program.

First-year veterinary student Montana Milton spent her first open house as a tour guide, taking dozens of people through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She said the event is a way for her to give back as a student.

“I wanted to help make the event a success because, as a first year, I haven’t taken many opportunities yet to interact with the public in Pullman,” Milton said. “Holding this event every year is a great way for the vet school to give back to the community that does so much to support us, and I wanted to do my part as a grateful vet student as well.”

It’s estimated more than 150 people attended the event despite the snow-rain mix that hung over campus all day long.

“I was blown away by the turnout from our local community and from further away. When giving tours during the event I was able to talk to people who traveled from all over the region, and I’m so happy that they did,” Milton said. “I hope they were able to get a better understanding of our program, our motivations as students, and our passion for both our patients and our community.”