Make The Connection

March 29, 2019 | By Christina Semeraro '21

Ohio Wesleyan student Taylor Honaker (right) consults with OWU graduate and veterinarian Dr. Sam Valerius during Honaker’s spring break externship at the Animal Care Unlimited clinic. (Photo by James DeCamp)

Animal Attraction

Ohio Wesleyan Student’s Externship Helps Prepare Her for Zoology Career

Name: Taylor Honaker ’20

Majors: Zoology and History

Hometown: Marion, Ohio

Experience: Externship at Animal Care Unlimited in Columbus, Ohio

Honaker spent her spring break interning with OWU graduate Dr. Sam Valerius ’08, a veterinarian at the Animal Care Unlimited clinic in Columbus, Ohio. As part of her OWU Connection experience, Honaker was given the opportunity to observe the daily procedures and routines of working with animals.

Busy Days

“I got to the internship at 7:30 a.m. and immediately vet techs were giving medication to our hospitalized animals and checking them out to make sure they were OK.

“By 9 a.m. doctors started showing up and first appointments started and, depending on which doctor was doing surgery on any given day, then surgery would start. It would get very hectic throughout the day with everyone in one area and all of the animals coming and going for surgery or appointments.

“Even though I was allowed to leave whenever I wanted, I usually stayed till 4 p.m. to get the experience.”

Taylor Honaker helps to care for a furry friend during her week at Animal Care Unlimited in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by James DeCamp)

Eye-Opening Experiences

“My biggest eye-opener was just how many different animals that they see and care for on a daily basis. Also the amount of death that I saw before 11 a.m. was astonishing and sad, but the good definitely out-weighed the bad.

“This internship goes along with my career goals because I hope to work at the Columbus Zoo. The exotic animals that I saw gave me a sense of how professionals are able to take care of them.”


Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose OWU because of how small and pretty the campus was and because it was one of the only schools in Ohio that was small and still offered zoology as a major.”

My Plans after Graduation

“My plans after graduation include hopefully getting a job at the Columbus Zoo and continuing my education while working. My goal down the road is to become a primatologist and work with chimpanzees in Tanzania.”