Vet Set Go and Merck Animal Health Team Up to Launch the “Become a Veterinarian Camp Contest 2021”

Contest Gives 6th – 8th Graders the Chance to Win a Coveted Spot at the Virtual Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Junior Vet Camp from July 13-15, 2021

Online essay contest opens Monday, March 1st at 8:00 am EST
Entries due Wednesday, March 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST

St. Augustine, FL (March 8, 2021)— To help up-and-coming young students pursue their dreams of becoming a veterinarian now, Vet Set Go — the first and only community dedicated to aspiring teen and tween veterinarians, together with Merck Animal Health, a leading healthcare company that boasts extensive knowledge in shaping the future of animal health and enhancing the veterinary profession — is inviting sixth through eighth grade students to enter the fifth annual Vet Set Go “Become a Veterinarian Camp Contest 2021.”  The online essay contest will award eight prizes for tween and teen students to attend the virtual Auburn University’s Junior Vet Camp from July 13-15, 2021, at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the nation’s premiere veterinarian schools.
Please note:  Originally scheduled as an-in person camp, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine made the decision to change this camp to a virtual offering for 2021.  We apologize for any confusion.  

The prize package is valued at $275 and includes online instruction from professors at the Auburn University College of Veterinary medicine, as well as coveted resources like the Vet Set Go book and the Beneath the Skin, Scale, Fur and Feather Anatomy book. The contest opens on Monday, March 1, 2021 at 8am EST, with an online essay submission available at The contest ends on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021, with all essays due by 11:59 p.m. EST. The eight selected winners will be notified of their free Junior Vet Camp experience by May 30, 2021.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, veterinarians have not been able to allow young, aspiring veterinarians the invaluable opportunity to volunteer and shadow in their clinics and hospitals as they traditionally would. They’ve been in survival mode managing an unprecedented demand for services while adapting to new curbside operation protocols,” said Chris Carpenter, DVM, founder and president of Vet Set Go. “That’s why we know there is an even greater need and desire for animal healthcare experience. Vet Set Go is proud to offer this unique opportunity to help young, aspiring veterinarians this world-renowned veterinary program virtually this summer.”

The Vet Set Go “Become a Veterinarian Camp Contest” is open to students entering sixth through eighth grade in fall 2021. With the help of a parent or guardian, students enter the contest using the official entry form available Monday, March 1 at Student entrants will be asked to complete a short online essay (300 words or less) that addresses at least one of these topics:

  • Why they want to be a veterinarian
  • Why they love animals
  • What they have done to get animal experience or learn more about science

Additionally, contestants will be asked to submit a photo of themselves with a favorite pet or animal or doing something to demonstrate their animal experience. Every contest applicant will receive a free Vet Set Go “Become A Vet Quiz.” The web-based quiz offers aspiring veterinarians a custom 19-page report with custom advice and guidance to pursue their dreams.

“Veterinary medicine is a calling, and at Vet Set Go, we believe now is the time to give young, aspiring veterinarians the resources they need,” added Dr. Carpenter. “Vet Set Go surveys show that 65 percent of today’s veterinarians decided before the age of 13 that it was the career path they wanted to pursue.”

“Speaking from my own personal experience, the love of animals is a passion that begins at an early age; and yet, it can be a challenge for young tweens and teens to find educational or volunteer opportunities to gain the animal health experience they’re craving,” said Christine Royal, DVM, Associate Vice President of Companion Animal and Equine Business Unit, Merck Animal Health. “On behalf of Merck Animal Health and as an Auburn alumnus myself, we’re thrilled to partner with Vet Set Go for the 2021 Become a Veterinarian Contest and give emerging veterinarians the once-in-a-lifetime chance to virtually attend Junior Vet Camp.”

During the camp, contest winners will learn about veterinary medicine from Auburn University faculty and technicians on all kinds of subjects like suturing, equine physical exams, anatomy, surgery, parasitology, and exotics.  Curriculum also includes learning about public health, food animals, wildlife, anatomy, x-rays, and first aid, as well as valuable mentoring about veterinary science careers.

“Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we as veterinary professionals support young emerging leaders to drive continued growth and innovation for our industry and ensure the long-term health of animals, added Dr. Royal. “Auburn University’s Junior Vet Camp is the ultimate opportunity to give passionate students early access to the world of veterinary medicine and help them pursue their dreams.”

To enter the contest on March 1, 2021 and learn more about the “Become a Veterinarian Contest 2021,” visit

ABOUT Vet Set Go

Vet Set Go is the first and only web community dedicated to helping teen and tween aspiring veterinarians explore their passion. Founded by Dr. Christopher Carpenter, Vet Set Go works to encourage future veterinarians to explore their dream and to show them how they can start today.

Vet Set Go! published the only book available for young veterinarians to show them how to get animal experience, volunteer, learn animal science, meet veterinarians, and/or connect with other aspiring veterinarians. The 60-page, full-color hardcover book is a Mom’s Choice Award winner. Since 2010, Vet Set Go has connected hundreds of thousands of aspiring veterinarians to resources, activities and connections to unique volunteer opportunities. For more, visit

ABOUT Auburn Junior Veterinary Camp

The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine offers the Auburn Junior Veterinary Camp each summer for youth entering the sixth through eighth grade who are interested in the veterinary medicine profession. Faculty, technicians and second-year veterinary students provide unique veterinary coursework and experiences for campers in laboratories, classrooms and outdoor facilities in one of the nation’s premiere veterinary schools. Over the course of its 125-year plus history, the Auburn University has produced more than 6,400 veterinarians and more than 500 specialists and researchers.

ABOUT Merck Animal Health

For 130 years, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter at @MerckAH.