Make a Gift Support the Shelter Medicine Program

The Shelter Medicine Program is working to develop new tools to help shelters succeed, but we can’t do it alone! It’s no secret that our work depends on your goodwill. 

Every dollar you share goes towards training new shelter medicine specialists, engaging veterinary students to become tomorrow’s humane leaders, discovering new knowledge to solve old problems, and visiting shelters to help them reach their goals. Your contributions make it possible to provide life-saving care for sheltered animals who could not otherwise be saved.



Emerging Specialty

Shelter Medicine is an emerging specialty field in veterinary medicine. Beginning in 2005, Shelter Medicine Program faculty have worked with members of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians to develop a comprehensive assessment of Shelter Medicine as an emerging specialty, evaluating current training opportunities, developing an analysis of specialist-level knowledge requirements, and nurturing shelter medicine training across the country.

Shortage of Specialists and Trained Practitioners

There is a critical shortage of both specialists in this field and trained practitioners able to provide the programs and services necessary to keep shelter animals healthy and facilitate their best outcomes. Only a few veterinary schools have internship or residency programs for specialty training in shelter medicine and the Shelter Medicine Program is proud to be among those training the future leaders in this field.

Gaps in Veterinary Education

Most veterinary schools have not yet begun to fully incorporate shelter medicine topics in their curriculum. Of the 28 accredited veterinary schools in the U.S., only a handful offer even a single course in shelter medicine to veterinary students. The University of Florida offers the only Professional Certificate in Shelter Medicine, which is an intensive elective program of courses, externships, and clinical clerkships designed to equip veterinarians to make a lasting impact on the health and welfare of shelter animals.

Shelter Medicine Progress

In 2012, the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) accepted the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ petition to form a recognized specialty in shelter medicine under their auspices. This was the first and a big step forward in the effort for shelter medicine to be recognized as a full-fledged specialty like oncology and cardiology. Shelter Medicine Program faculty have been instrumental in developing standards for residencies, spay/neuter practice, shelter animal health care, and formal recognition of the Specialty in Shelter Medicine Practice.

Together, we share a hope for a tomorrow where every cat and dog can enjoy a loving, comfortable and enriched life they deserve.

Shelter pets need you! Your gift will train a shelter vet for every shelter pet, support lifesaving research, and provide assistance to shelters in need.

Make a Gift by Mail

Please make checks payable to: University of Florida Foundation, with “Shelter Medicine Initiative” in the memo line.

Mail to:
Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
2015 SW 16th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32610