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What are the Goals of the UF Veterinary Shelter Medicine Online program supported by PetSmart Charities®?

The UF Shelter Medicine Program is pleased to offer an online Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine, an online graduate certificate in shelter medicine, and continuing education courses, all sponsored by PetSmart Charities®.

Learn best practices and broaden your career opportunities in this rapidly growing field where there is a high demand for well-trained practitioners to address the health and welfare issues unique to animal shelters.

The UF Veterinary Shelter Medicine online program supported by PetSmart Charities®  allows you to interact with the content in an asynchronous, online-delivery format while encouraging you to reflect on your prior experiences in shelter medicine. When you complete our interactive courses, you will be ready to practice shelter medicine. Learn best practices and broaden your career opportunities in this rapidly growing field where there is a high demand for well-trained professionals to address the health and welfare issues unique to animal shelters.

Upon completion of the program, you will:

  1. Understand the critical role played by veterinarians when protecting the health and welfare of sheltered dogs and cats
  2. Recognize and respond to the compromised physical health of sheltered animals
  3. Recognize and respond to the compromised behavioral health of sheltered animals

Benefits of the Shelter Medicine online program

Shelter medicine is a new specialty area of veterinary medicine recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The current demand is great for well-trained veterinarians and other professionals to address the health and welfare issues affecting animal shelters. Few opportunities currently exist for students to immerse themselves in graduate-level coursework within this emerging area of expertise.

Students will learn how to:

  • Prevent and manage infectious diseases common to animal shelters.
  • Conduct a veterinary forensic investigation.
  • Prevent and modify behavior and welfare issues common to animal shelters.
  • Assess shelter practices against Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters.
  • Review the scientific literature to determine whether shelter practices are evidence-based.
  • Protect public health and safety due to dangerous animals and zoonotic diseases.
  • Review the adequacy of a business plan created for a non-profit organization.
  • Communicate effectively with shelter stakeholders about best practices for shelter operations.

Careers

Who is this program for?

Whether you are a veterinarian, veterinary technician, shelter administrator, animal control officer, or public health worker, this program will provide you with comprehensive training that you can use to advance your career and benefit the lives of homeless companion animals. Your online classmates will include:

  • Veterinarians
  • Veterinary students
  • Pre-veterinary students
  • Shelter medicine residents and interns
  • Veterinary technicians
  • Shelter administrators
  • Shelter operations staff
  • Animal welfare professionals

Career potential

The UF Veterinary Shelter Medicine online program supported by PetSmart Charities® will prepare students for careers in animal shelters and animal welfare organizations, such as:

  • Medical directors
  • Executive directors
  • Shelter operations directors

Veterinary students outside of the University of Florida

If you’re a second- through fourth-year veterinary student outside of the University of Florida seeking a career in shelter medicine, our certificate program offers affordable and convenient advanced training. If you’re an international student, this online Shelter Medicine Program provides an opportunity for shelter medicine training that would otherwise unavailable to you.

Veterinarians in private practice or in shelters

No matter where you practice, UF’s shelter medicine training will enhance your ability to provide these services and increase your standing as a caring, compassionate, and professional care provider. You will learn how to recognize and manage infectious diseases common in the shelter environment; recognize and collect forensic evidence in a cruelty investigation and manage and prevent behavioral and welfare problems in large populations of animals.