Carroll's Anthrozoology Program Receives $1,250,000 Gift

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Photos above: Whitney Call and Fender. Inset: Whitney Call '08 and Fender '08 featured in the Helena IR in 2008.


HELENA, MT – Whitney Call, a 2008 Carroll College graduate, and her family have committed $1,250,000 through the FJM Impact Fund to the college’s popular Anthrozoology program.

The Calls’ gift will support construction of a new building, the Perkins Call Canine Center, and partial compensation for a Center director for five years. The Center will house Anthrozoology faculty in canine, equine, and wild animal disciplines and provide space for classroom instruction, research, veterinary examinations, canine training, and human-animal bond activities open to the public.

“Being involved in the Anthrozoology program at Carroll College had a tremendous impact on my life,” said Whitney Call. “Gaining a deeper understanding into the interactions between humans and animals, and the ways in which we can partner with animals to have mutually beneficial relationships, helped me to determine a career path and changed my life in a positive way. The experiences I had in the program helped me grow not only from an academic standpoint, but were also fun and fulfilling. I hope that many more students can benefit from the program in coming years.”

The Perkins Call Canine Center is named, in part, for Anne Perkins, PhD, founder and chair of the Anthrozoology (ANZ) program.

Anthrozoology – the study of human-animal relationships – is a relatively new program at Carroll, which expanded from six declared majors in 2011 to almost 100 in 2015 and has remained steady since. It is Carroll’s fourth most popular academic major, out of 38, and the second most popular major for transfer students.

Anthrozoology’s rapid growth at Carroll is due in part to support from Whitney Call and her family since 2007, now totaling more than $1,500,000.

A core Anthrozoology program component is canine classes – through which students learn to train dogs for a variety of purposes. Students work with regional shelters to rehabilitate rescue dogs for a successful human-canine partnership and practice canine training techniques specific to animal-assisted activities and therapies, search and rescue, and scent detection. At the end of the academic year, the dogs are united with competitively and carefully selected “forever families.” This often-emotional transfer takes place at the annual Canine Commencement ceremony, which is open to the public.

“Carroll College is grateful for this gift from the Call family. It will transform our ability to deliver a nationally distinctive and visionary program that studies how the human-animal bond can provide services to promote the quality of life,” said Carroll’s Interim President, Fr. Stephen C. Rowan, PhD.

Carroll’s Anthrozoology graduates pursue a variety of interests today. One works in Tanzania with dogs scent-trained to detect smuggled ivory; another works with her dog Tobias, trained to detect invasive mussels, in Glacier National Park. Other graduates are in master’s, PhD, or veterinary degree programs or in fields related to their interest in the human-animal bond, such as counseling.

“Ten years ago, a photo of Whitney with her dog Fender appeared on the front page of the Independent Record when she became the first student to earn a minor from what was then the Human-Animal Bond program. Whitney has been focused all along on making sure that other students have access to Anthrozoology at Carroll, and now she has taken it to the next level. It’s incredibly moving,” said Anthrozoology chair, Anne Perkins, PhD.

Two sites near the Waterbarn on the campus’s southeast side, both with easy access to Helena’s Paws Park, are under consideration. SMA Architects of Helena will design the structure, in consultation with Anthrozoology faculty.

“The Carroll Anthrozoology program has so many wonderful parts to it and one, in particular, is that it is currently the only undergraduate major of its type in the United States. Through the vision of Dr. Anne Perkins to develop a program that blends science and psychology, and through the support of many, but especially the transformative giving of the Call family, Carroll College is poised to soon begin construction on a very unique facility on campus. As the college continues its tradition of academic excellence and preparation for our students to make a difference locally, regionally, across the country and around the world, it is very exciting to see this cutting-edge program changing the lives of individuals in every walk of life and setting our alumni on a path of personal fulfillment and professional success,” said Candace Cain, Carroll’s Interim Vice President for Advancement.

For more information about Anthrozoology or to provide support, contact Dr. Anne Perkins at aperkins@carroll.edu or Major Gifts Officer Cindy Everts at ceverts@carroll.edu.


Carroll College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts and pre-professional college in Montana's capital city of Helena. Carroll College has earned top national and regional awards for its academic programs, professors and extraordinary tuition value. For seven years in a row, Carroll has been ranked as the number one regional college in the West by U.S. News & World Report.