Welcome to the
Our mission is to provide students with a broad overview of pets: their care, nutrition, reproduction, behavior, health issues, and the various roles of these animals including their close connection to humans. Furthermore, this program is intended to prepare individuals for employment or graduate studies in the fields of companion animal science and companion animal welfare.

Anna & Johnny | Companion Animal Program


The Companion Animal Program provides two different options for students interested in learning more: a minor and a certificate. Both the companion animal studies minor, and the companion animal studies certificate provide students with an overview of knowledge related to all aspects of companion animals. 

The minor in companion animal requires 18 hours of biology (BIOL) coursework.  The certificate requires 15-18 hours of biology (BIOL) coursework.  The coursework requirements prepare students for careers related to the care and management of companion animals, including working companion animals.  Career exploration within this billion-dollar industry will also be reviewed.  The minor and certificate were designed to complement many degree plans chosen by students pursuing the Pre-Veterinary specialization and the coursework included will further prepare them for veterinary school.

Program Requirements & Resources

See the WT Catalog for more details.

Minor in Companion Animal Studies (18 hours of BIOL coursework)  
Certificate in Companion Animal Studies (15-18 hours of coursework)  

Program Supporters

Dr. Russell C. and Natrelle Hedrick Long

Dr. Russell C. Long was the ninth president of West Texas A&M University and previously served as University Provost. Natrelle Hedrick Long served as the University First Lady and Number One Fan. They retired in 2005, and Dr. Long was named WTAMU President Emeritus by the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System.

In retirement, the Longs are engaged in authoring novels and supporting the local community, particularly the homeless and animal populations. WT’s Companion Animal Studies program is the result of the Longs’ continuing recognition of the needs in and opportunities available for a regional institution of higher education.

Dr. Russell C. and Natrelle Hedrick Long


About the Director

Sara-Louise Newcomer received her DVM from the University of Florida in 2003. She was in small animal general practice for a few years before joining the faculty at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in Primary Care. While at Auburn, she completed her masters in Adult Education and moved away from the clinical setting while she continued with classroom teaching responsibilities and mentoring veterinary students. She and her husband, BJ, now live in the Panhandle of Texas with their Labrador retriever, Willow Kate. Dr. Newcomer works at West Texas A&M University as the Long Professor in Companion Animal Studies and the Director of the Companion Animal Program.


Dr. Sara-Louise Newcomer, Director of Companion Animal Studies
Dr. Russell & Natrelle Long Professor in Companion Animal Studies
Department of Life, Earth, and Environmental Sciences
(806) 651-3583 |