College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Katie Ardovini

Rebecca Bell
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Katie snuggles with a puppy named Nala at Dogwood Acres Pet Retreat.

“Working at Dogwood really opened my eyes to see all of the hard work that goes into properly caring for animals,” says Kaitlyn (Katie) Ardovini, an Agricultural Business Management student from Bowie, Md. “It's the little things that really matter and are necessary for a kennel to run properly.”   

Having grown up around companion animals, Ardovini loves to care for and play with dogs. This passion led her to pursue a major in Animal Care and Management while earning a Certificate of Applied Agriculture in Agricultural Business Management. Wanting to gain hands-on experience, Ardovini interned at Dogwood Acres Pet Retreat in Davidsonville, Md. Dogwood Acres is a pet retreat that strives to make animals feel “happy, healthy, and engaged with superior pet care.”

Throughout her internship, Ardovini checked animals in and out of the facility, wrote reports on each dog and cat, recorded the belongings of and performed health checks on the animals, and provided basic daily care. As the weeks went on, Ardovini loved watching the animals grow and interact from day to day; she also enjoyed getting to know all of their different personalities.

^^Katie with her dog Frankie. She was ecstatic to bring Frankie to work with her at Dogwood.

By completing more than 320 work hours at the pet retreat, Ardovini gained important skills that will assist her in a future career. Her customer service skills improved greatly through her daily interactions with the pet owners. From working specifically with the dogs every day, Ardovini has developed an understanding of basic dog behaviors and methods and techniques of training and grooming. All of these skills will be pertinent to her dream of owning and operating an animal care facility. She now has the experience and skills to go along with her passion and knowledge in order to take further steps into owning and running a successful business.

Larisa Cioaca, Ardovini’s advisor at the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) stated, “Katie has a huge heart for animals that is only surpassed by her commitment to learning how to best care for the animals, while offering excellent customer service to their owners.”

With Ardovini’s hard working attitude, zeal for animals, and commitment to learning, she will become an incredible asset to any animal care facility and could positively influence the animal care industry as we know it.

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