Purdue’s Vet School Launches Shelter Program

Goal is to help fill a need for professionals skilled in caring for homeless dogs.

With the aid of a $1.2 million grant from pet rescue foundation Maddie’s Fund, Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine has launched a new shelter program.

The Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, which begins in January, will include a lecture course for sophomores and juniors in the veterinary medicine program, an externship, and research opportunities. It will also fund two doctoral and six postdoctoral positions in shelter medicine and two animal behavior residents.

Students in the program will do externships at two collaborating shelters, PAWS in Chicago and the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

Veterinary professionals skilled in addressing the medical needs of homeless pets in animal shelters are in great demand, said Willie Reed, DVM, Ph.D., dean of the school.

“Because of our commitment to provide leadership through bold initiatives in veterinary education and animal health care, it is imperative that we establish this program to provide a holistic approach to solving the challenges associated with these animals,” Dr. Reed said. “I am especially pleased that this program includes an emphasis on addressing animal behavior issues, which often are treatable, yet sometimes stand in the way of the successful adoption of homeless pets.”

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