Terry G. Spencer, DVM, MEd

Courtesy Professor, Distance EducationTerry Spencer, DVM, MEd
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida

Dr. Spencer brings a unique background in both science education and veterinary medicine to the Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at UF.  During her first career, she worked as a science educator for K-Junior College students as well as a curriculum developer for the American Chemical Society and for National Science Foundation grants.  During her second career, she worked as a small animal veterinarian, owned a veterinary practice, and worked full-time as a shelter veterinarian for both open and limited-admissions animal shelters in California and Florida.  She has experience with managing disease outbreaks in shelters, conducting cruelty investigations, training volunteers to assist with disasters, providing testimony as an expert witness in criminal animal cruelty trials, working with victims of domestic violence and their pets, performing sterilization surgeries in high-volume shelters, developing standard operating procedures for busy animal shelters, and serving on advisory boards for the improvement of animal shelters. Her current mission is to develop distance learning programs to meet the needs of practicing veterinarians who desire to develop expertise in shelter medicine.


  • DVM, Colorado State University, 1995
  • MEd, Science Education, University of South Florida, 1983
  • BA, Zoology, University of South Florida, 1977


  • Educational Innovator, Educational Collaborator, and Educational Researcher Awards from UF-HSC Educational Scholarship Program, 2016
  • Online Excellence Award for Graduate Courses, 2014
  • Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Community Service Award, 2011
  • Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Gold Star Award, 2010
  • Salvation Army West Pasco, Domestic Violence Community Service Recognition, 2009
  • Florida State Agriculture Response Team, Community Service Award, 2009

Selected Publications:

  • DeTar, H, Alber, J, Behar-Horenstein, L, Spencer, T,: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Changing Student Confidence in an Online Shelter Medicine Course, JVME, 2016. (pre-publication)  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27404546