A group of UF Veterinary School Students will be spreading the love to furry friends this weekend in honor of Valentine’s Day.

UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s nonprofit organization, Project HEAL, will be holding a Valentine’s Day themed dog wash on Feb. 8 at the veterinary school.

“It’s always fun to have a party with a theme at the dog wash,” said Cameron Biggs, president of Project HEAL and second-year student at UF’s veterinary school.

A donation of $5 will gets dogs a bath, nail trimming and ear cleaning.

Steven Bingert, vice president and treasurer for Project HEAL and second-year graduate student at UF’s veterinary school, said turnout for the dog washes last semester was great.

“There may not have been 200 people,” he said, “but there was definitely 200-plus dogs there.”

All donations will be used to fund Project HEAL’s annual trip to Ecuador, where members care for animals in underprivileged communities.

Last year, members performed about 60 surgeries and more than 200 vaccinations, Bingert said.

Students like Biggs and Bingert, who have yet to go on the trip, said they’re looking forward to experiencing the passion of the locals for their pets.

“They really love their animals,” Biggs said. “They’ll get there at 7 in the morning and wait for as long as they have to. They’re really grateful.”

[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 1/29/2014 under the headline "Puppy’s day out: UF Veterinary group hosts dog-wash event"]

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