Get to know our veterinary paraprofessional winner for the 2022 Veterinary Heroes™ Awards
At age 10, Alexandre Contreras, the 2022 veterinary paraprofessional winner for the 2022 Veterinary Heroes™ Awards, would sit down in front of the television and watch Emergency Vets on Animal Planet with his late grandfather. In those moments, he knew his future would lie in veterinary medicine. Flash forward to today, and Contreras now has more than 10 years of experience under his belt, earning his veterinary assistant degree from Penn Foster College in 2009 and working persistently to become a certified canine massage therapist and dental technician.
Contreras also embodies the spirit of an innovator and entrepreneur. In 2010, he founded a canine massage therapy service, DogApy, which he still operates part-time. Six years later, he invented KlipTrio, a 3-in-1 nail-trimming tool that combines a clipper, stainless steel file, and disposable styptic powder cartridge. The tool eliminates the need to struggle with a messy bottle of styptic powder while the bleeding pet is stressed and irritated.
“By designing a product that effectively addresses and solves a problem that affects veterinary practices across the country each day, Alexandre is making a major and meaningful contribution to veterinary medicine,” one of Contreras’ nominators said.
Contreras is committed to using his entrepreneurship skills for the betterment of his community. In 2022, he created the nonprofit organization, PetTrio Charity, which aims to provide financial assistance to pet owners who are not able to afford the full cost of pet care. He is also a collaborating speaker with the Youth Veterinarian Initiative, an organization focused on educating and exposing minority youth to the field of veterinary medicine. As for advice to potential future technicians out there, “continue to evolve and educate yourself on a daily basis with every case you come across,” Contreras said. “With passion, dedication, and just relentlessness, anything is possible.”