March 12, 2019 4:58 pm
Updated: March 12, 2019 6:57 pm

Calgary veterinary nurse wins international award: ‘We’re so proud!’

WATCH: Having a close connection with a pet is a big part of life for a lot of people. A lifelong love of animals has brought international recognition for one Calgary woman. Gil Tucker has the story.

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While she was growing up, it was always obvious that Katie Berry had a deep love for animals. She was always going out of her way to help them.

“I used to bring home stray cats, drag home stray dogs,” Berry said. “My parents would be surprised with a new dog in the backyard or a new kitty in the house.”

Trying to provide those animals with a new home was one of Berry’s favourite pursuits during her elementary school years.

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“I would hide them — sometimes in the closet or in my top bunk bed,” Berry said.

“The cats would lay in there really well, so then I’d put the blanket over them before my mom would come. But of course cats meow and you can only keep them quiet for so long.”

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That spirit of caring has carried on into adulthood, serving Berry well in her career as a registered veterinary technician at the Montgomery Village Veterinary Clinic in northwest Calgary.

“We’re the nurses of the clinic,” Berry said. “So if you think of what a nurse does on a day-to-day basis, we do the same thing.”

Her duties include doing blood work and x-rays, as well as anesthetizing animals during surgeries and other procedures.

“Dental cleanings are also a passion on mine,” Berry said. “I think dental health is really important, something we often miss with the animals.”

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That passion is now really paying off. Berry is just back from an international veterinary conference in Florida where she received an award as Veterinary Nurse of the Year for 2019.

“There are so many that deserve it,” Berry said. “So to have that recognition towards me is phenomenal.”

Her colleagues at the clinic say it’s a well-deserved honour.

“We kind of knew when we hired Katie that we had gotten a real gem,” Dr. Dirk Dekens said. “We’re so proud!”

Berry’s affection for animals continues to extend beyond the workplace. She shares her home with a dog, cat and hamster.

“Who is more excited when you come home than your dog or cat?” Berry said with a smile. “Because I know my boyfriend’s not as excited as my dog is.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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