Terry Spencer

Dr. Terry G. Spencer, DVM, Med

Dr. Terry G. Spencer, DVM, MEd

Dr. Spencer serves as the Program Director for the University of Florida Online Graduate Program in Shelter Medicine. She advises students who are pursuing the MS Concentration in Shelter Medicine, supervises capstone project research and presentations, and coordinates faculty who are developing new courses and teaching online. She brings a unique background in both science education and veterinary medicine to the program.  During her first career, she worked as a science educator for K-Junior College students,  curriculum developer for the American Chemical Society, and authored science, technology and health textbooks on a major National Science Foundation grant.  During her second career, she worked as a small animal veterinarian, owned a veterinary practice, and worked as a contract and a full-time shelter veterinarian for both open and limited-admissions animal shelters in California, Florida, Tennessee, and Nevada. She serves as Co-Editor on the Access to Veterinary Care special research topic for Frontiers and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.  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 create distance-learning courses to meet the needs of those who desire to develop their skills  in shelter medicine.


  • Assessing the Impact of a Virtual Shelter Medicine Rotation on Veterinary Students’ Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes Regarding Access to Veterinary Care, Front. Vet. Sci., 16 December 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.783233
  • Animal cruelty as an indicator of family trauma: Using adverse childhood experiences to look beyond child abuse and domestic violence, February 2018, Child Abuse & Neglect 76:287-296.
  • Factors that Influence Intake to One Municipal Animal Control Facility in Florida: A Qualitative Study,  June 2017, Animals 7(7):48.
  • A Link Between Stray Animal Intake and Neighborhood Violence?, October 2016, Conference: 2016 Global Summit on Violence and Abuse
  • A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Changing Student Confidence in an Online Shelter Medicine Course, July 2016, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 43(4): 434-444.
  • In Their Own Words: What Qualitative Analysis of Online Discussions with Students Reveals about Their Experiences with Compassion Fatigue in Shelter Medicine , May  2016, IOSR-JAVS  9(5):38-55. 


  • Educational Innovator, Educational Collaborator, and Educational Researcher Awards from UF-HSC Educational Scholarship Program, 2016
  • Medical Education Research Certificate, Association of American Medical Colleges, 2015
  • Online Excellence Award for Graduate Courses, 2014 and 2022
  • 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

Courses taught:

VME6801: Principles of Management in Animal Shelters

VME6950: Capstone Project Presentation

VME6814: Principles of Teaching in Animal Shelters

VME6951: Communicating Research about Shelter Medicine

VME6905: Seminar in Shelter Medicine

VME 6910: Supervised Research in Shelter Medicine

Continuing Education Courses

Euthanasia by Injection (EBI) 

Shelter Medicine Grand Rounds