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In partnership with the city of Cabot, Lyon College established the first-ever veterinary program in the state



Cabot, Arkansas – The state’s first veterinary school will be housed at Lyon College, it was confirmed last week. Dr. Eleanor Green, dean of the program, announced a partnership with the city of Cabot to prepare students for the forthcoming veterinary medical school.

These students, in Green’s opinion, can reside in a dormitory to gain practical experience.

“Especially in a state that has so many animals, people who care about them and livestock industries that have tremendous economic impact, and rural communities that need veterinary help,” Green said.

Green said that there’s a national shortage of veterinarians. According to, the state ranks 49th in the U.S. for veterinarians per population, with only 14 veterinarians per 100,000 people. Green believes their innovative program will gain national attention and shift the dynamic of how the state is ranked.

“Virtual reality and simulations, group learning and using all of the modern technology tools that we have to enhance their education, and make it like one that they’ve never had before,” she said.

According to Mike Wheeler, director of community services for the city of Cabot, this partnership with Lyon College will boost the number of veterinarians in the state. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he claimed, they have a contracted veterinarian, but no one is employed full-time by Cabot Animal Support Services.

“They can go to school here, they can live here, they can graduate here, and they can do business here. We don’t have that right now,” Wheeler said.

The people who reside in the communities affected by the rise, according to Wheeler, will benefit when the job market for veterinarians in the city and state improves.

“We’ve learned long ago that if we take care of the people in our community, they can take care of their pets. Pets and people together make a humane community,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler stated that they will spend 18 months teaching new veterinary students. He promised to teach them everything they needed to know to succeed as veterinarians.

“They can do surgeries, they can deal with customers and citizens,” he said. “Deal with the community on a daily basis and see what the community wants and needs, and how that works with the business of veterinary medicine.”

An animal welfare surgery and education center will be one of eight buildings on the new campus being constructed, according to Wheeler. He stated that they anticipate having those structures finished by 2025 and welcoming the first group of students by the end of 2026.

Green stated that they plan to start classes in the fall of 2025 and that they would begin taking applicants for the program in the fall of 2024.





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