The skills you need to save lives

The Shelter Medicine Program at UF (SMP) offers specialized training to veterinary students, veterinarians, and shelter professionals. Our training and education program is designed to equip veterinary leaders with the skills they need to make a difference in the lives of animals and communities.

Programs for Veterinary Students

Our veterinary students are passionate, altruistic, and in search of career opportunities that are professionally fulfilling. We are proud to provide training in Shelter Medicine to these inspirational students.

Shelter Medicine Program curriculum includes topical online courses, clinical clerkships, in-shelter externship experiences and more. Veterinary students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine may also complete the Professional Certificate in Shelter Medicine, an internationally recognized credential that documents intensive study and expertise in this specialized discipline.  

Learn more about our educational programs for veterinary students:

Programs for Veterinarians and Shelter Professionals

Advanced training for veterinarians and animal welfare professionals in topic related to Shelter Medicine and operations is a core component of our program. Whether at a weekend conference or during a year-long internship, we are committed to building a corps of highly skilled professionals. Training in Shelter Medicine is especially valuable for veterinarians whose DVM curriculum did not include this specialized training.                     

Professional Continuing Education

Our continuing education programs are open to everyone who is seeking advanced training in Shelter Medicine. Participants in our offerings can expect their classmates to include veterinarians. veterinary students, pre-veterinary students, shelter medicine residents and interns, veterinary technicians, shelter administrators, shelter operations staff, animal welfare professionals, and animal control and field officers, among others. Most courses are approved for CE credit for RACE, CAWA, and NACA.

Shelter Medicine Internship

There’s a critical shortage of veterinarians with special expertise in shelter medicine. Our immersive year-long Shelter Medicine Internship Program for veterinarians is designed to produce a skilled practitioner well-equipped for shelter practice or to be competitive for a residency program in the Shelter Medicine specialty. The core component of the internship is hands-on medical, behavioral, and surgical care of patients in a mentored shelter environment. The interns participate in several clinical rotations selected from a palette of municipal and nonprofit shelters in Florida. Back at the college, the interns work with the Shelter Medicine faculty and complete courses in veterinary forensic medicine, shelter consultations, diagnosis and management of disease outbreaks in shelters, and large-scale field responses to disasters involving animals, including mass seizures of abused or neglected animals.

Graduate Programs in Shelter Medicine

The Online Shelter Medicine Graduate Program provides instruction in how to recognize and manage infectious diseases in a shelter, collect forensic evidence in a current investigation, and prevent behavioral and welfare problems in large populations of animals. This program fills an existing curriculum gap in Shelter Medicine by providing quality online courses for veterinary professionals, animal welfare professionals, and students. Even career changers interested in getting a start in Shelter Medicine or assisting local shelters with non-profit leadership issues can transition into the program as a non-degree seeking student. Demand continues to grow for qualified professionals in this ever-expanding field. Current offerings include Graduate Certificates in Animal Shelter Leadership and Shelter Medicine and a Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a concentration in Shelter Medicine.