Opportunities for Students

Opportunities for Veterinary Students and Veterinary Technology Students to Experience Shelter Medicine in the Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue

Student Shelter Experiences

Fourth year veterinary students from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine can pursue a 3-week off-campus block or a 6-week externship in shelter medicine at PAWS Chicago Rescue and Recovery Center or the Humane Society of Indianapolis. The externship program is also replicated for Purdue University veterinary technology students at PAWS Chicago, who enjoy all the same benefits of working in a hands-on shelter environment. During their shelter experience, students participate in the full spectrum of shelter medicine services, from intake to adoption. Students work alongside experienced shelter veterinarians while gaining experience in population medicine, infectious disease care and control, preventative medicine, spay/neuter anesthesia and surgery, animal welfare, behavior and environmental enrichment, and client interaction and education. A furnished apartment with 24-hour security is provided in Chicago for students requiring accommodation while working at PAWS Chicago.

The Shelter Animal Medicine Lecture Course

This one-credit elective Pass/Not pass course is offered annually to second year and third year veterinary students.  The course will cover topics that will enable students to understand the breadth and complexity of the shelter environment. A field trip to the Humane Society of Indianapolis is included where students have the opportunity to explore practical population management issues and participate in an informal Q&A with a shelter veterinarian.

Topics include:

  • Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters; the Asilomar Accords
  • Care of shelter pets including triage and diagnostic testing control of common shelter-borne diseases
  • Pet relinquishing issues
  • Abuse and cruelty
  • The veterinarian's role in animal welfare

Summer Research Experience

Veterinary students who desire a more research-oriented shelter experience early in their education have the opportunity to participate in the Maddie’s summer research experience. In this 12-week summer research program, students work with a Purdue PVM faculty member to collect data for their project and attend weekly seminars during which faculty talk about such topics as how to write a scientific paper, research ethics, research careers in veterinary medicine, and preventive medicine.

The Purdue Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians

The PVM Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (SCASV) was established in 2009 and has 57 student members. The SCASV promotes the importance of the specialty of shelter medicine in veterinary medicine, raises student awareness of issues pertaining to homeless animals and pet overpopulation, and encourages camaraderie among veterinary students with an interest in animal shelter medicine. Regular lunchtime meetings are held to plan club events and host shelter medicine speakers. Please contact Dr. George Moore for any further information.

The Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program Award

The Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program Award has been presented to a graduating DVM student who exemplifies compassion for shelter pets, excellent interaction with shelter clients and proficiency in Shelter Medicine at the annual Honors and Awards ceremony since 2010. A check for $500 is included with the award certificate. 

Contact us:

George Moore, DVM, MS, PhD
Interim Director, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program

Purdue University 
College of Veterinary Medicine
625 Harrison Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2026


Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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