Shelter Medicine Practice becomes newest recognized veterinary specialty

Dr. Julie Levy, program director and professor of Shelter Medicine, examines cat housing and identification.The AVMA Executive Board has announced that Shelter Medicine Practice will be the 11th veterinary specialty recognized under the auspices of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

From the Association of Shelter Veterinarians:

Shelter Medicine Practice has officially become the newest recognized veterinary specialty!

The AVMA Executive Board voted late last week to approve provisional recognition for the board specialty under the umbrella of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

The process of establishing shelter medicine as a recognized specialty has been the result of significant effort and a lengthy process that stretches back almost 10 years when the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) appointed a task force to explore the development of such a specialty.

Now that provisional recognition has been granted, the organizing committee will continue its work to ensure all processes are in place for shelter medicine to function as a board specialty.

Credentialing applications will be accepted later this year for the first certification exam, which will be offered in November 2015.  An application for full recognition will be made between 2018 and 2024.


Like our colleagues at the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, we truly believe that the development of a formal recognized veterinary specialty in Shelter Medicine will provide improved veterinary medical services to the profession and the public — and will help optimize care for millions of animals through education, research, and the pursuit of clinical excellence.

Our field is deserving of this distinction as a unique and challenging field of veterinary medicine. Thanks to those who have worked so hard to bring this specialty to life, and our very best goes out to our students and alumni, who we know will be leading the way in Shelter Medicine excellence!