VME 6816: The Role of the Animal Shelter in Protecting Community and Public Health

Course Overview

This course enhances the ability of shelter medical professionals to serve as informed and active protectors of human and animal health in their communities. 3 credit course.

Course Content

Animal shelter professionals play an essential role in protecting community and public health.  There is increased recognition that collaboration among professionals from multiple disciplines is necessary to protect the health of both human and animal residents of a community.  As part of this multidisciplinary collaboration to protect community and public health, shelter medicine specialists are expected to:

  • Design zoonoses control programs in animal shelters
  • Consult on zoonoses control programs in communities
  • Consult on rabies control and provide recommendations for dog bite prevention
  • Advise on dangerous animal issues (e.g. wildlife, exotics, domestic), 
  • Participate in emerging, reportable, and foreign animal disease surveillance
  • Consult on animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect
  • Consult on disaster relief and preparedness for animals
  • Collaborate with external agencies regarding animals, and public health
  • Advise on animal shelter environmental impact.  (DACUM Research Chart for Shelter Medicine Specialist, 2007).

This course is designed to provide shelter professionals with the tools necessary to help fulfill many of these functions in their communities.  Course projects are designed for students to create practical tools for use and implementation in an animal shelter and the surrounding community.

Enrollment Information

  • For Current Syllabus and Course Instructor, please reference the Course Tracker.
  • Course Number: VME 6816 all sections
  • Semester Credit Hours: 3
  • Term: Spring/Fall
  • Pre-Requisites/Co-Requisites: Access to a local animal shelter where you can survey staff and volunteers.