Dog grooming to Indy
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Elena Robles, left, and Mercedes Gonzalez of Madera FFA bathe Bruno at the dog grooming facility at Madera South High School.
After winning the FFA State Championship in Vet Science, Madera FFA advisor and veterinary science pathway teacher, Kristin Sheehan, had to develop a plan to raise funds of more than $5,000 to get four team members to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in late October.
Then, it hit her: Why not use the skills the girls learned and help the community out with their pets to create a dog grooming business? Thus, Shampooches Student Dog Grooming was born.
For the past month, the Madera FFA Vet Science team has groomed dogs as a way of earning money for the national convention.
“We got a new vet tech room,” Sheehan said. “We got a grant from the Madera County Farm Bureau to create a vet tech room. We’re using that to run a dog grooming business to raise money. That was part of the plans for the vet tech room to have grooming. The cool thing is we haven’t been able to use the room because they finished it during COVID so we haven’t had students in there. They are breaking it in and using it raise money to go back. I feel that it’s important rather than them asking for money. I want them to utilize the skills they learned in the veterinary science pathway. In addition, they are using the skills they have to perform at the national contest.”
The vet science team beat 39 other teams to win the state championship. Sheehan estimates it will cost between $1,200-$1,500 per student for the trip and about $6,000 total. That’s why she turned to dog grooming and the students have been pretty successful at it.
“It’s been going pretty good,” she said. “Some people have said that their dog has been kicked out of other dog grooming places for biting, and they’ve been able to do the nail trim here. My girls were able to trim nails successfully.”
Sheehan first started out advertising on social media and to the district, but is open to any one that would like their dogs groomed.
“We primarily set out to publicize it via our social media (Madera FFA Facebook page) and sent out information throughout the district,” she said. “There is a link to sign up for the grooming. We offer a wash, dry, nail trim and ear cleaning.”
With school quickly approaching, the students were open three times a week. They have one more opening this month — Aug. 14 — and will try to offer one or two Saturdays a month, if the interest is there.
“That will be a continuation of the service, but won’t be a fundraiser,” she said. “If we have clients that want to keep coming back, we will offer one Saturday a month.”
In addition to the dog grooming, Sheehan is looking at a possible tri-tip dinner fundraiser, but isn’t sure yet.
“We are potentially doing a tri-tip dinner drive through, but that’s not set in stone,” she said. “We got a donation from Oldcastle. It’s a pretty sizable donation. I want to make sure my girls are earning their way to go back there. They’ve learned a lot by doing this.”
To sign-up or for information about Shampooches, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0b4ca5ad2ca2f85-shampooches or email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you information.