News & Announcements

  • Students Create Eye-Catching Signage

    Walk through Building B at our Center for Career Services and you'll see the incredible work of our Commercial Art students, whose creativity can be seen in the form of vinyl wraps currently on display in various areas of the building.

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Join our Cisco Academy Networking Program information sessions!

    Learn about our Cisco Academy Networking Program on Monday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m., in Building B on our Career Services campus, 65 Grasslands Road, Valhalla. Register here! 

    News Feed - Center for Adult and Community Services
  • Students at Tappan Hill School "Lend a Helping Hand"

    Tappan Hill students learned the value of lending a hand around their school during the month of January, a reflection on the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.

    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • Southern Westchester BOCES Congratulates Region's Reward Schools

    Southern Westchester BOCES congratulates region's newly identified Reward Schools.  

    News Feed - Southern Westchester BOCES
  • Mother of 2 thanks SWBOCES for helping her set example for kids

    Lisa Wilson-Patrick, a 40-year-old mother of two, is thankful to SWBOCES for allowing her to set a positive example for her children, ages 6 and 15.

    News Feed - Center for Adult and Community Services
  • Second Quarter Breakfast Celebrates Students' Achievements

    At the Center for Career Services' second-quarter breakfast, several students received awards for their high academic performance. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Students Get Ready for SkillsUSA Competition

    Students in Christine Ireland's Architecture/Interior Design/3D Art class were practicing the steps necessary to compete successfully in the upcoming SkillsUSA competition, to take place in March. The activity was being done in conjunction with SkillsUSA Day 2018. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Students Avail of Work-Based Learning Hours Through Collaboration with YWCA

    Students in our Cosmetology Program at the Center for Career Services are getting valuable work-based learning hours through a special collaboration with the YWCA in White Plains. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Students Learn from Visit to Automotive Technology Center

    A class visit to the Herbert Kurz Automotive Technology Center at Rockland Community Center gave BOCES auto students a peek into the school's well-respected associate's degree program in automotive technology. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Sound Production Students Will Learn from New Digital Drum Set

    Students in the BOCES Sound Production Program at the Center for Career Services will benefit from a digital drum set that was purchased recently. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Auto Students Bring Back Coveted Prizes

    Two teams of automotive technology students did their teachers proud after they competed and won a fifth and sixth place at the Westchester/Rockland Regional Automotive Technology Competition in early January. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Auto Students Work Toward Careers in the Industry

    Making a career for themselves in the auto industry is on the minds of our students as they sit for the ASE exam. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • Drum Performance Helps Students Get Creative

    Architectural students had some help getting creative, thanks to a drum performance held in their class Jan. 29. 

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • SWBOCES, Questar collaborate on future assessments

    Southern Westchester BOCES was chosen to host educators from throughout the region to collaborate with Questar Assessment on a three-day item-writing workshop.

    News Feed - Center for Professional Development & Curriculum Support
  • Sharing and Caring the Theme of Special Assembly

    Students at the Tappan Hill School enjoyed a special assembly at their school Jan. 22 to honor Martin Luther King Jr., Day and to reinforce the importance of sharing and caring. 

    News Feed - Center for Special Services

Dog Breeder Talks Genetics to Animal Science Class

Dog Breeder Talks Genetics to Animal Science Class

The Animal Science class at the Center for Career Services is a hive of activity on a daily basis, with students learning to handle and care for a variety of animals under the direction of instructor Michael D’Abruzzo. However, Friday, Nov. 3rd, was busier than usual with the introduction of three fully grown Portuguese water dogs and a puppy.

Animal trainer Joseph Kelly, a native of Dublin, Ireland, brought the dogs to Mr. D’Abruzzo’s class as a way to educate his students about the ethics of animal breeding.

The puppy, named Darcy, was donated to the class for educational purposes.

Second-year student Molly Joyce chose the name because of its popularity in Ireland and because she felt it honored Mr. Kelly, the breeder who donated the dog.

The name also means “dark one,” reflecting the jet-black locks of the puppy.

The older dogs who were also in the classroom come from three generations of the same family, said Mr. Kelly. They include Harvey, Summer and Carlito.

Mr. Kelly told the class that dogs have been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. The New Jersey-based breeder, who runs a business called Eclipse Portuguese Water Dogs, learned how to feed, play and work with his grandfather’s hunting dogs during school vacations.

Before moving to the United States in 2013, he studied under some of the world’s leading canine training and behavior experts. Today, he is a certified dog trainer and behaviorist, and also runs the Train4Fun Canine Academy.

During the 90-minute class presentation, the students learned a lot about this highly intelligent utilitarian breed that originated in the Algarve region of Portugal. Known to be loyal and hard-working, these dogs are distinguishable by their curly or wavy hair and powerful, thick tails.

Explaining the business of animal breeding, Mr. Kelly told the students that he typically buys dogs from different countries in order to “expand the gene pool.”

Like humans, dogs have health-related problems, too, and Portuguese water dogs are no different. Mr. Kelly said some of the minor health problems this breed displays includes canine hip dysplasia (CHD), distichiasis, Addison’s disease, alopecia, juvenile cardiomyopathy as well as other, more serious issues like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Mr. Kelly said he always tests the parent dogs for the above diseases before breeding.

The dogs in his care include Harvey, who is 12 and is from Ireland; Mimi, who is 7 and is from England; Praia, 6, from Sweden; Summer, 5, half-Irish, half-Czech; Miss Kitty, 3, half- English and half-Irish; Carlito, 2, half-American, half-Irish; Jubilee, 1, half-American, half- Irish; and Harmony, 4 months, half-American, half-Irish. They are all in excellent health and have been DNA tested, he told the students.

Since breeding relies on the science of genetics, Mr. Kelly said most breeders will need to know about canine genetics and health.

For instance, breeding a Labrador and a poodle will most likely produce a dog with a very different coat type, but Mr. Kelly cautioned that breeders who match more uncertain breeds may get a dog with bad traits from both parents, and not the good traits they are looking for.

“With all the pet overpopulation issues that students will experience firsthand as they enter the animal science field, the presentation from Mr. Kelly was extremely valuable,” said Mr. D’Abruzzo.

“To see what one model breeder does right while preserving a rare and ancient breed will make it easier for my students to recognize what is wrong in the industry.”