When Noah Sneed ‘25 (CAHNR) was 13, a veterinarian from an at-home veterinary practice came to his family’s home in Natick, Massachusetts to help one of their pets pass on. Sneed was struck by how was much less stressful the experience was for both the animal and his family than their visits to a traditional vet clinic.
Sneed has taken that emotional moment in his family’s history and turned it into a desire to help other animal owners with pre-vet studies.
Sneed was attracted to UConn’s animal science program because it allowed him to get hands-on experience his first semester.
“I really wanted to start my career and do what I was interested in, and UConn really gave me that opportunity,” Sneed says.
During his first semester, Sneed trained a sheep named Gracie for the Little International (“Little I”) show. Little I is part of the curriculum for the introduction to animal science course. He now works as a herdsman for the sheep barn.
Sneed is also a member of the ScHOLA²RS House learning community (the Scholastic House of Leaders in Support of African-American Researchers and Scholars). He says ScHOLA²RS House has provided him with a supportive community.
“Working alongside other motivated Black men was really motivational for me and it helped set me on the right path,” Sneed says. “It offered me a community that allowed me to be successful.”
Sneed is also a member of the Pre-Vet Club and Black UConn Collective.
Sneed traveled to Ghana as part of a study abroad program. While Sneed had not thought studying abroad would fit into his academic career at UConn, the two-week program created an opportunity for him.
Sneed says, in addition to getting to see animals like monkeys, antelopes, and elephants, the “eye-opening” experience taught him important lessons he seeks to incorporate into his own life.
“They really take what’s necessary in life and expand on that – family, community, and that’s something we kind of lose with the capitalist mindset of trying to be better than each other,” Sneed says. “But it’s really a community over there where everyone wants to see everyone succeed.”
Sneed’s academics are incorporating a desire to help communities in need. He recently declared a double major in pathobiology and veterinary science and is interested in pursuing research on HIV.
After graduation, Sneed plans on attending veterinary school with the ultimate goal of opening his own at-home practice.
“It’s something different every day, being with animals,” Sneed says. “I love animals and putting smiles on owners’ faces because their pet, a part of their family, is OK.”
Sneed is invested in making at-home veterinary services more affordable.
“I want to take care of animals in their own home because that’s where they’re most comfortable,” Sneed says. “I think more services like that should be readily accessible.”
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