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Maddie’s® Online Graduate Certificate: in Shelter Medicine

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Shelter Medicine Knowledge Now Online

An exciting series of online learning opportunities will provide you with the knowledge to be a knockout shelter veterinarian. Sign up to receive updates for Maddie’s® Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine offered online.

Shelter Medicine: an Emerging Veterinary Specialty

Shelter medicine is on track to become the next Boarded Specialty area of practice in veterinary medicine, and the current demand is great for well-trained veterinarians to address the health and welfare issues unique to animal shelters. Few opportunities currently exist for students to immerse themselves in graduate-level coursework within this emerging area of expertise.

With the support of Maddie’s Fund®, we are pleased to adapt our on-campus shelter medicine certificate program for delivery online in order to reach a broader audience, benefit more homeless animals, and support the expanding graduate and veterinary student interest in this evolving topic.

Location, Location, Location

Because our program is offered online, you can complete the coursework and receive a Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet. If you are an out-of-state veterinary student or professional, a non-local organization, or an international student, you can all take advantage of our convenient, affordable and intensive shelter medicine option for the cost of in-state tuition.

Who Should Apply

Our goal is to fill the existing curricular gap in the field of Shelter Medicine by providing quality online courses for veterinarians and second through fourth-year veterinary students. You do not need to be enrolled at the University of Florida to take these online courses. Additionally, as of July 2014, these graduate courses are now available to other veterinary professionals holding a minimum educational requirement of bachelor’s degree (e.g., veterinary technicians, shelter operations staff, and kennel staff).

Veterinary Students Outside the University of Florida

If you’re a second through fourth-year veterinary student outside of the University of Florida seeking a career in shelter medicine, our certificate program offers affordable and convenient advanced training. If you’re an international student, our online program provides an opportunity for shelter medicine training otherwise unavailable to you.

Veterinarians Working in Private Practice

If you’re a veterinarian working in private practice, you may be asked by rescue workers, municipal governments, and local animal shelters to assist with problems related to animal homelessness in your community. Our shelter medicine training will enhance your ability to provide these services, and increase your standing as a caring, compassionate, and professional care provider.

Shelter Veterinarians

If you’re a veterinarian working in an animal shelter, you face critical animal care decisions every day. You will learn how to recognize and manage infectious diseases common in the shelter environment, recognize and collect forensic evidence in a cruelty investigation, and manage and prevent behavioral and welfare problems in large populations of animals.

What Our Students are Saying About the Program

“My staff is starting to utilize the methods in the lessons not only for our adoption animals but for our patients. This is a win-win situation.”





“As I think about the concept of decreasing length of stay, I realize our shelter workers will need to change their view of how the shelter is supposed to work. By setting concrete short- and long-term goals, I believe the workers will better understand and appreciate how the program is working and how it is benefiting both animals and people.”