In 1987, Andrea Glass woke up one day with an idea. A first year CVM student and the PR person for SCAVMA, Glass thought a community event all about pets would be a great way to promote the college.
When she introduced her idea to Associate Dean Norm Hutton, he was a little skeptical but gave her $150 to give it a try. With just the help of a few students, Glass spent the entire year developing, organizing, recruiting and staging the first ever CVM Pet Day. That was twenty-five years ago.
The first Pet Day included some activities that are still popular today: Brad’s Reptiles, dog agility demonstrations, and a dog wash. Other activities like sheep dog trials and Kentucky Derby viewing have since been discontinued. The small animal clinic had not been built yet but visitors could take tours of the large animal hospital.
Despite minimal staff and no blueprint to follow, the first ever Pet Day went off without a hitch and the $150 that Glass spent on posters attracted about 1,000 visitors.
Now Andrea Glass is Andrea Van de Wetering who practices referral dentistry at Reid Animal Hospital in Albany. “I can’t believe it was 25 years ago,” she says. “We had a few vendors participate but we made no money. The second year we were smart enough to charge for the booths.”
Van de Wetering says her best memory of that first year was Hutton’s happy surprise that it all worked out so well.