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Media Advisory: May 8 is “Military Spouse Appreciation Day,” McAlester Native and ABC Military Spouse Grad Helps Dairy Farmers Detect Harmful Bacteria Infections

Media & PR Contact
  Angela Peña, Director of Media and Public Relations
  888-338-7778 (direct)
Monday, November 06, 2017 : 10:49:57 AM
Santa Clarita, Calif., May 8, 2015—They sacrifice much for the many freedoms Americans enjoy. They parent alone when their spouses are deployed. They move hundreds of miles away to unfamiliar locations. They even postpone their careers. Military spouses, like their service personnel companions, serve the country, too.

Today is “Military Spouse Appreciation Day.” In observance, Animal Behavior College (ABC) is celebrating the achievements of Kristen Wills, a McAlester native, and the 2,550 other military spouse graduates.

For many military spouses, finding employment or maintaining steady employment despite frequent relocations is challenging. In a study by the Department of Defense Office of Community Outreach, 26 percent of military spouses are unemployed. Animal Behavior College’s core programs are ideal and portable for spouses interested in pursuing a career in the pet industry.

Kristen Wills did just that. The McAlester, Oklahoma native earned certification through ABC’s Veterinary Assistant Program and is currently living in Mountain Home, Idaho where her husband, Chad, serves in the U.S. Air Force.

“After watching my husband go after what he wanted in life and then witnessing how proud he felt over his accomplishments, I wanted to feel that same way,” Kristen recalled. “I needed a career that if we for some reason we had to move somewhere else, I could just take it with me.”

To some, the idea of pursuing a career in the pet services industry seems implausible. However, pet ownership in the U.S. continues to increase. In fact, 65 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 79.7 million homes, according to the 2015-2016 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey. Pets today are living longer, eating healthier and receiving more services from groomers, veterinarians, pet-sitters and trainers. The APPA estimates that Americans will spend $60.59 billion in 2015 on their pets for food, veterinary care, supplies and over-the-counter medicine, pet grooming and boarding and pet purchases combined.

For military spouses who are passionate about animals, the pet industry offers an array of career choices that are portable and sustainable doing what they truly love.

Currently, Kristen works at Knight Veterinary Clinic in Mountain Home, Idaho as a veterinary assistant and lab technician where her main responsibility is overseeing the milk lab and collecting milk samples from local dairies. She enjoys the many challenges and having a career she can take with her wherever she goes.

Who:Kristen Wills, Military Spouse and Animal Behavior College Veterinary Assistant Program Graduate

What: Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Why:To honor the contributions of military spouses for the many freedoms Americans enjoy

How: For more information or to interview Kristen, please call or email 888-338-7778,

About Animal Behavior College
To date, ABC has enrolled nearly 4,900 military spouses and graduated more than 2,550. The school prepares students for professions as certified dog trainers, certified veterinary assistants and certified pet groomers. These vocations are viable, portable careers in the $60.59 billion pet industry. To learn more about the college, visit the website at