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MU College of Veterinary Medicine
Receives Support for Shelter Medicine

With grant support from nonprofit PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, 365 veterinary students at four different universities will be trained in spay/neuter surgery and will perform roughly 11,000 surgeries within the first year of each grant.

The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine is one of four recipients of the grant funding from PetSmart Charities. The college will receive $429,352 over two years to support operational expenses to expand the shelter medicine program, a two-week required course for third- and fourth-year veterinary students. The rotation provides hands-on spay and neuter training for approximately 120 students for each of the two years, with students conducting an average of 32 spay and neuter surgeries each, with an estimated average of 30 percent of those surgeries being conducted on pediatric cats and dogs.

Training more veterinary students on spay and neuter procedures can have a positive and direct effect on the pet homelessness problem. Currently, about half of the 8 million pets that end up in U.S. shelters each year are euthanized because there aren’t enough homes.  Spay and neuter helps eliminate unwanted litters, so there are fewer homeless pets overall.

The other recipients of the PetSmart Charities grants are:

  • The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, which will receive $508,919 over two years to support the operational expenses to expand the university’s shelter medicine and surgery program, a two-week rotation required for all fourth-year veterinary students.
  • Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, which will receive $352,725 over 18 months to support the operational expenses for the university’s new shelter medicine program in its inaugural year. The program will be an extracurricular learning activity that will be used as a platform to build a required shelter medicine rotation.
  • Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, which will receive $200,000 over two years to support the operational expenses for the university’s new shelter medicine program, a two-week elective rotation for fourth-year veterinary students.


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College of Veterinary Medicine
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Last Update: February 29, 2012