HELENA — Carroll College broke ground on August 30 at their new Perkins Call Canine Center for the Anthrozoology program.
Faculty, alumni and students-- both of the two and four legged variety-- came out to celebrate the occasion.
Shovels and paws were used for the groundbreaking at the site of the new building, which will include a 2,600 square foot canine training room, a veterinary treatment room, wash rooms, both indoor and outdoor kennels, a new classroom and faculty offices.
The Carroll College was the first Anthrozoology Undergraduate program in the nation and pioneered by newly named Professor Emerita Dr. Anne Perkins.
“People think that Anthrozoology is kind of ‘well I love dogs, or training or volunteering,' but it’s not,” said Perkins. “It’s a scholarly academic, extremely important discipline and Carroll College gave birth to it academically.”
Anthrozoology is the scientific and scholarly investigation of human-animal interactions.
Carroll alumni have gone on to careers in clinical psychology, veterinary school, animal-welfare law, and physical or occupational therapy.
One such graduate is Whitney Call, class of 2008, who donated $1,250,000 with her family for the construction of the canine center.
After Carroll, she went on to work as a family and child therapist where she incorporated animal assisted therapy.
Call has also championed animal rescue work, having fostered more than 100 dogs in the past decade.
She said there were challenges when she was in the Anthrozoology program given that there was no dedicated space for the dogs.
“It was really challenging as a student to be raising a dog without adequate facilities for the dog,” said Call. “I wanted students in the future to have facilities for their dogs and so that they’d be able to embrace this field of study-- and also their other courses-- and their dogs could fit seamlessly in with their academic work here.”
Call added the event wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and hard work of Dr. Perkins.
“She worked relentlessly and was extremely committed in overcoming so many hurdles build this program,” said Call. “I’m extremely excited I can share my family name with Dr. Perkins on this new center.”
Perkins said the future looks bright for the Anthrozoology department and she’s thankful for all who believed in the program.
“I am incredibly honored and fortunate to have students like Whitney come back and care about this program,” said Perkins.
Anthrozoology is the fastest-growing program at Carroll College with 46 current first-year students majoring in the program.
The Perkins Call Canine Center is slated to be completed by the end of August 2020.