Animal companions cherished by contestants

Ohio Hi-Point Career Center animal science student Angel Banning’s love and care of animals extends to many areas of her life, so much so that her father calls her bedroom, “a zoo,” she said Thursday during the 4-H and FFA companion animal competition.


Franklin, an African Sulcata tortoise, didn’t mind Thursday’s heat as he took a stroll near the 4-H Activity Building at the Logan County Fairground during the judging of companion animal projects. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Like many of her peers in the OHPCC program, she has taken on the 24/7 care of animals in the school program during the summer months while school is not in session. She currently has two cages with guinea pigs in her bedroom at her Indian Lake area home, along with spaces for her crested gecko and leopard gecko, she said.

While presenting her projects revolving around the leopard gecko and a mother guinea pig and a half dozen guinea pig babies to judges at the contest, the 17-year-old reflected how each of the pets have become companions not only to her, but also to her younger brother.

“My 5-year-old brother is autistic and he often can be pretty rough with his toys, but with the animals, he is just so gentle and he really loves them,” she said. “He doesn’t talk yet, but we can see him just light up with the animals. He’s my little buddy,” she said of the soon-to-be Indian Lake Schools kindergartner.

Complete story and photos in Saturday's Examiner
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