MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Amid a sea of cute faces and fluffy paws, some courseloads are nothing to bark at.

Some students are taking care of furry friends while also earning college credits at Vinal Technical High School.

“I learned how to clip nails, I’ve never had pets so I didn’t know how to work with them,” said Angelina Deleon Colombo, a tenth grader.

Colombo is one of the many students at this Middletown high school diving into the world of veterinary science. And as expected, it’s not a textbook-based course.

“We offer services to our students, staff, and public animals. They can make an appointment to come in and have grooming services done,” said Instructor Casandra Roman from the Veterinary Sciences Program. “They can have baths, nailed trimmed, ears cleaned.”

Roman said that students learn how to care for everything, from pocket pets like ferrets and guinea pigs to bunnies, companion animals like cats and dogs, and bigger farm animals.

And they can pretty much guarantee there’s a job waiting for them at the end of this.

“We have a staff shortage in the veterinary field,” said Roman. “Many hospitals are understaffed and there are a lot of animals, especially since COVID, people have been adopting pets.”

This is an incredible opportunity and one some college students don’t even get. So while earning college credits, these students are also learning to care for real animals.