Of course you love the cats, dogs, hamsters and turtles. But can you, do you, want to work with ill horses, cattle and sheep?

Montana students who want to become veterinarians can now apply for a new Montana-centered veterinary medicine program, offered through cooperation between Montana State University and Washington State University.

Students can apply online through Oct. 2. Classes will begin in August 2014.

Livestock veterinarians play a crucial role to the family farmer, but Montana has a shortage of 278 livestock veterinarians, according to the Montana Veterinary Medical Association. Besides that, 63 percent of the 125 Montana veterinarians now working in a food animal practice are nearing retirement.