Ending an old year, starting the new

domestic kitten lies on a soft blanket against the background of Christmas golden lights.In looking back at our 2020 year-end message, I saw these words:

“To say this last year has presented animal welfare with challenges is pretty much the definition of understatement.”

It’s hard to believe, but we’re still dealing with those challenges as well as quite a few new ones as another year comes to end. Even more unfortunately, some old challenges came back to haunt us due to the interruption of spay/neuter services earlier in the pandemic along with the shortage of veterinary and shelter staff.

And whether because of the pandemic or the increase in shelter crowding, we at UF have been helping large numbers of shelters and communities as they struggle with disease outbreaks and increased numbers of community cats.

So it’s been a rough year all around. But there’s something else I wrote last year that’s also still true, and it’s this: “All of us at Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program are proud of each of you who rose to those challenges, not only caring for animals in your communities but reinventing animal sheltering for every year to come.”

Helping you with that work is why we’re here, and we’re humbled every day by your dedication and innovation, as well as by the incredible accomplishments of our alumni around the world.

Of course we’re hoping 2022 is brighter for all, but whatever the future holds, know that we wish you  the best possible New Year,

Dr. Cynda Crawford
Director, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida
And the MSMP Team