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Animal Behavior College Announces 2018 Sleepypod Scholarship Winner

Media & PR Contact
  Angela Peña, Director of Media and Public Relations
  888-338-7778 (direct)
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 : 1:33:49 PM
Santa Clarita, Calif., October 30, 2018 — Animal Behavior College (ABC) today announced the winner of the 2018 Sleepypod Scholarship contest. Stacy Marquar of Slidell, Louisiana, was awarded a full-ride scholarship to the college’s Veterinary Assistant Program (VAP) for her winning essay that explained what she planned to achieve as a veterinary assistant.

“Passion and commitment to a pet’s well being begins with the veterinary assistant in the exam room,” said Michael Leung, co-founder of the Pasadena, California-based company. “Sleepypod is privileged to provide resources to an exemplary Animal Behavior College candidate such as Stacy Marquar. We look forward to all that Stacy will accomplish in her future role as a member of a veterinary team.”

“We appreciate Sleepypod’s continuing support of veterinary assistant education and for making it possible for a student to fulfill her dream of helping animals,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College. “This year’s winner’s story was deeply moving. Despite major health challenges, she never lost sight of her career goal to heal and help animals. Her determination is not only admirable but also inspiring.”

The Essay
Growing up on a farm, Stacy Marquar always knew she wanted a career helping animals. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree, she worked as an animal care technician in primate husbandry at a research center and planned to become a veterinary assistant. Her plan changed after getting injured on the job. During rehabilitation, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“At the end of my surgeries and treatments, I had to start all over again and find a way to become a vet [veterinary] assistant,” she recalled. “I knew that I couldn’t give up and that this wasn’t the end. I would survive and make my dreams come true. Becoming a veterinary assistant would start a new chapter in my life.”

Recognized for reinventing pet products with innovative design, Sleepypod is best-known for its durable carriers, safety harnesses and travel accessories. The company’s in-vehicle carriers and harnesses have passed rigorous third-party testing by the Center for Pet Safety, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting pets and the people who love them.

The scholarship provides financial assistance and support for a student enrolled in ABC’s Veterinary Assistant Program. To qualify, applicants needed to demonstrate a financial need and submit an essay. Judges reviewed each entry and selected the applicant who best explained their hopes and goals in their chosen field.

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Veterinary Assistant Program . Since its inception, there has been an increased demand for veterinary assistants and laboratory caretakers. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow 19 percent for these occupations from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. ABC’s online veterinary assistant course is approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), a distinction that is highly regarded in the veterinary community. Participants learn everything from examination room procedures and pharmacology to surgical preparation, radiology and ultrasound imaging. Upon completing the program, graduates are certified by ABC as Animal Behavior College Certified Veterinary Assistants (ABCVA). They then qualify to take NAVTA’s national examination, and if they pass, receive Approved Veterinary Assistants (AVA) designation that recognizes their accomplishments. Currently, there are 1,409 students enrolled in VAP.

As of September 30, 2018, 8,675 students in the U.S. and Canada have graduated from VAP. ABC has graduated and certified more than 27,000 students from its four core programs combined, which includes the Cat Training Program (CTP), the Dog Obedience Program (DOP) and the Grooming Instruction Program (GIP). ABC offers specialized certificates of completion in seven Short-Term Programs on subjects including doggie daycare, pet nutrition, pet fostering and training shelter dogs.

For more information about the Veterinary Assistant Program, call 800-795-3294 or visit .

About Animal Behavior College
Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Animal Behavior College is a vocational school that trains professional dog trainers, cat trainers, veterinary assistants and pet groomers nationwide and in the 10 provinces of Canada. Students obtain practical hands-on experience applying what they learn by working side-by-side with a member of ABC's expert mentors group. These professional mentors include thousands of professional dog trainers, veterinary hospitals and clinics and grooming salons from all across the U.S. and Canada who are dedicated to helping students succeed in the pet services industry.