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Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program

Saving lives through science, leadership, and service.

Classes in Shelter Medicine

Companion Animal Welfare Issues (VTMED 6734)

Spring. 1 credit. Letter grades only.

Minimum enrollment 3; maximum 50.

E. Berliner, L. DeTar.

Companion animal welfare issues have become a major concern for many American communities. Precipitated by the changing status of companion animals, the proliferation of free-roaming cats, and human safety issues, communities are considering a broad range of animal-related issues. These include breed-specific bans, restrictions on declawing, and trap-alter-and-return programs for cats. This course will address these and other issues such as pet surplus - animals entering shelters and those euthanized in shelters; the “no-kill” movement; reasons for relinquishment to shelters; recognition and documentation of animal abuse; dog fighting, and the role of the veterinarian in the recognition and reporting of these activities. The objective of the course is to provide information for veterinary students enabling them to assume leadership with regards to these issues in their future communities.  

Introduction to Shelter Medicine (VTMED 6425)

Spring. .5 credit. Letter grades only.

Prerequisite: VTMED 5400. Highly recommended prerequisite: VTMED 6734. Enrollment limited to: third- and fourth-year veterinary students. Minimum enrollment 5; maximum 40. This is the second course in a three-course sequence.

E. Berliner, L. DeTar.

The course will cover 8 hours of lecture on very basic shelter medicine principles, to include the history of sheltering and humane organizations, issues with pet overpopulation and free roaming companion animals, animal cruelty, an overview of preventive medicine and population health in shelters, sanitation and disinfection, and population management. It will be a pre-requisite for Shelter Med II (VTMED 6434) and the clinical rotation (VTMED 6623). 

Shelter Medicine II

Spring. 1 credit. Letter grades only.

Highly recommended prerequisite: VTMED 6425. Enrollment is limited to: third- and fourth-year veterinary students. Minimum enrollment 3; maximum 20.

L. DeTar, E. Berliner.

Shelter medicine is a new and exciting discipline in veterinary medicine which applies population health principles to companion animals in animal shelters. Shelter Medicine II is the third course in the shelter medicine series, and topics in this course build upon those taught in the previous courses. Topics in this course may include the following: veterinary forensic medicine, shelter metrics for population health, guidelines for effective foster care and transport programs, physical structure and health in shelters, and management of medical problems in shelter environment.

Clinical Rotation in Shelter Medicine: Principles and Practice (VTMED 6623)

Fall, spring. 2 credits. Letter grades only.

Enrollment limited to: third- and fourth-year veterinary students who have completed Foundation Course V.  

E. Berliner, L. DeTar, E. Henry.

Shelter medicine is a relatively new discipline within the practice of veterinary medicine and requires the application of herd health principles within a small animal setting.  This clinical rotation will expose students to the principles and practice of veterinary medicine in a shelter setting.  While much time will be spent providing direct veterinary medical care to individual shelter animals, there will be a directed focus on introducing students to population-level principles.  Topics include but are not limited to infectious disease diagnosis, treatment, and management; shelter wellness protocols; high-quality, high-volume spay-neuter; shelter data management; sanitation and disinfection; and population and capacity planning.  Other aspects will be covered depending on shelter activities and needs at the time.  The daily schedule will include clinical work, daily shelter rounds, and daily topic rounds Topics include but are not limited to infectious disease diagnosis, treatment, and management; shelter wellness protocols; high-quality, high-volume spay-neuter; sanitation and disinfection; and population and capacity planning. Other aspects will be covered depending on the shelter activities and needs at the time. While spay/neuter is part of shelter medicine, this is NOT a surgical intensive rotation.  Course may be repeated for credit. 
 

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