Mindemoya’s Hailey Leblanc has been able to balance both an education and part-time work at Kat’s Pet Supplies in Mindemoya this year as she finishes her fourth-year undergrad classes at Lakehead University.
Animal care has been a lifelong passion for Hailey. She has been working at Kat’s since 2014, either after school or during summers, but this year’s switch to virtual learning has allowed her to keep working. It’s a win-win because, although internet learning has its challenges, she is able to save money for her future education and stay involved with the pet store.
“I’ve always wanted to be a vet and they want to see you’ve had experience in an animal field. A pet store is one of the possibilities, so I just thought I would try it,” Hailey said.
Hailey is a self-professed fan of all kinds of animals, big and small. She has been riding horses since she was eight years old.
Perhaps her most unique animal crossover is her winter pastime with her dog—she’ll head out onto a frozen lake, strap on cross-country skis and let him pull her around.
“People love to watch it; I’ll fall down, laugh and get up, and my dog loves it. He’s a husky so he loves to pull and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.
The Kat’s gig has taught her a lot about animal care and helping customers with their pet questions.
“I like being able to help people with their pets and just interacting with the community. I really enjoy it,” she said.
After this semester comes vet school, with the prestigious Ontario Veterinary College at University of Guelph atop Hailey’s list.
Remember that when you shop locally, you’re helping support your friends and neighbours like Hailey Leblanc at Kat’s Pet Supply in Mindemoya.