Children’s book to encourage new generation of vets

In a move to inspire Scottish youngsters to take on a career in veterinary care, a children’s book named ‘Shona the Vet’ is being shared around schools. 


This is part of a wider campaign, which hopes to improve the number of aspiring vets. 


More than 2,500 copies of the illustrated book, which follows the story of a female vet as she helps wildlife across the country. 


Future Vets Scotland (FVA) has also set up a camp for wannabe vets aged 16-17, which will take place at the SRUC’s Oatridge campus later this year.


Project founder Karen Gardiner said: “There is a perception that competition is high, but the reality is the number applying is falling and with an ageing vet population, we need more young vets.


“FVS guides children of all ages through the process of becoming a vet.”


Catherine Stables, the brains behind ‘Shona the Vet’, is currently working as a vet in Moray. 


Dr Stables said: “I thought it would be good to have a female main character as vet and I wanted to show Scottish creatures other than highland cows and Nessie.


“You never know what animals you’ll see as a vet – no two days are the same. It’s never boring and it’s really rewarding when you see animals getting better.”


The initiative has received an abundance of support from Scotland’s three vet schools, the FVS and Shelia Voas – Scotland’s chief veterinary officer. 


She said: “This is a fantastic initiative which I hope will get more children thinking about veterinary studies as a possible future career option. My thanks to Karen and the Scottish vet schools for making it possible.”