Course Descriptions

Core Courses – Required

Course Description
VME 6810
Integrating Veterinary Medicine
with Shelter Systems
Understand and appreciate the critical role played by veterinarians when protecting the health and welfare of sheltered dogs and cats.

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VME 6815
Animal Shelter Population Management
by the Metrics
Population management in a companion animal shelter is often described as having the same principles as large animal production systems. However, few shelters prioritize using metrics to proactively manage animal flow or monitor for disease. Instead, many shelters only use data in a reactive manner or in the form of an annual report. This course will teach students to (a) retrieve, (b) assess, and (c) interpret population-level metrics on a regular basis. Students will learn about data collection and retrieval, review basic epidemiological and statistical principles, and develop a critical eye for data quality which will allow students to make data-driven decisions in a timely manner.
VME 6811
Shelter Animal Physical Health
Construct, critique, and implement the policies and protocols used to protect and enhance the physical health and well-being of sheltered dogs and cats, including the recognition and response to the threats of physical health.

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VME 6813
Behavioral Health of Shelter Dogs and Cats
VME 6816
The Role of the Animal Shelter in Protecting Community and Public Health
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.  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.

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Additional Requirements

Course Description
VME 6951
Communication in Shelter Medicine
VME 6950
Capstone Project


Course Description
VME 6814
Principles of Teaching for Animal Shelters
Shelter professionals are often expected to teach and supervise volunteers, staff, and students completing externships or internships in animal shelters. However, few shelter professionals have had the opportunity to develop their teaching skills.  This course will prepare students to  (a) plan for instruction, (b) teach, (c) give appropriate feedback, and (d) coach others to develop important knowledge, values, and skills for the animal shelter setting.

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VME 6939
Topics in International Shelter Medicine
VME 6818
High Quality High Volume Spay Neuter
VME 6817
Humane Euthanasia in Animal Shelters
This course will serve to establish best practices for students interested in coaching shelters in humane euthanasia.  Prerequisites would be that you have access to an animal shelter where you can observe and discuss euthanasia practices during the course. 

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VME 6812
Problem-Oriented Approach to
Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare
This course, which is intended for shelter medical and behavior staff, will focus on using a problem-oriented approach to identification, diagnosis, and treatment of behavior problems in shelter dogs and cats. Prerequisite: VME 6813 Behavioral Health for Shelter Dogs and Cats.

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Infectious Diseases of Shelter Felines
Infectious Diseases of Shelter Canines
* Principles of Animal Shelter Leadership
* Principles of  Animal Shelter Management
*Shelter Fundraising and Development
*Shelter Marketing and Communications
* Coaching Animal Shelters toward Life Saving
VME 6820
Introduction to Veterinary Disaster Response
Be prepared to respond to veterinary disaster events as a volunteer. Recognize the standards of care for operating emergency animal shelters and transporting pets before and after disaster events.  Understand the need for animal shelters to maintain all-hazard plans and adapt plans in the face of a pandemic. 
VME 6934
Topics in Veterinary Medical Science
VME 6905
Problems in Veterinary Medical Sciences
VME 6051
Cruelty to Animals and  Interpersonal Violence
Over the last decade, criminal penalties for animal cruelty have dramatically increased, as has the prosecution of such cases. This change has been closely linked to the growing recognition of the relationship between cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence. Once a subject of common anecdotal knowledge, this connection has been substantiated by a significant body of work in social science.
VME 6052
Animal Crime Scene Processing
In recent years, both state and federal laws pertaining to animal cruelty have evolved significantly. Actions that were previously considered non-offenses are now being prosecuted on misdemeanor and felony levels. Because these convictions can carry significant sentences, juries expect to see the same level of crime scene processing and evidence handling that would be applied to crimes against humans.
VME 6054
Scientific and Legal Principles of Forensics Evidence
Students completing this course will gain a better understanding of the fundamental concepts of evidence; burden and standard of proof; judge and jury; types of evidence; witnesses; degrees of certainty; and other relevant aspects of the principles of evidence in a legal investigation.
ENY 6706
Forensic Entomology
Forensic scientists, crime scene technicians, and medicolegal death investigators are continually faced with establishing a postmortem interval (i.e., time since death) in medicolegal investigations. Students will learn the proper evidence techniques for the documentation, collection, and preservation of entomological evidence, as well as how to calculate a minimum postmortem interval from entomological evidence.
VME 6575
Veterinary Forensic Medicine
 This course will introduce the student to the application of veterinary medicine to the forensic sciences. Course topics will focus on the interpretations of injury patterns, as well as the cause, manner, and mechanism of death. Upon completion of this course, the student will have basic knowledge of the pathological documentation required for crimes involving animals, including recognition of abuse, crime scene investigation, and interacting with the legal community.
VME 6571
Forensic Applied Behavior
An overview of Forensic Applied Animal Behavior, which is defined as the application of knowledge of animal behavior to the purpose of the law. This includes documenting the behavioral effects of abuse, neglect or inadequate care that may be in violation of laws, regulations, and industry or community standards.
VME 6615
Veterinary Forensic Toxicology
This course will encompass the basic concepts of veterinary forensic toxicology including basic principles of veterinary toxicology, legal aspects of veterinary toxicology, utilization of veterinary diagnostic laboratories in forensic cases, conducting veterinary toxicology field investigations, history-taking, and proper collection, handling and preservation of samples. Species-relevant aspects of veterinary toxicology will be covered.
VME 6056
Animal Law
Animal law is a quickly growing field and is becoming essential to social policy in the United States as well as around the world. This course introduces and surveys important overarching legal themes that occur throughout the unique relationship between humans and animals.
VME 6572
Forensic Aspects of Agricultural Animal Welfare
VME 6576
Veterinary Forensic Pathology

Thesis-Based Degree Requirements

Course Description
VME 6971
Research for Master’s Thesis
VME 6910
Supervised Research
PHC 6050
Statistical Methods for Health Science 1
VME 6771
Veterinary Epidemiologic Research