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Veterinary Community Outreach Program

Happy shelter puppyThe Veterinary Community Outreach Program is an elective clinical rotation for junior and senior veterinary students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. The service was started in 2003 under the direction of Dr. Natalie Isaza. We are part of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences.

Our mission is to guide veterinary students in the development of basic clinical skills through service learning and community outreach.

This elective clinical rotation is designed to introduce students to the challenges of veterinary practice in both community and shelter environments, and to give experience in spay and neuter techniques of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens. Gone is the day where veterinarians are only utilized for their surgical abilities in a shelter; more and more shelters across the country are realizing the value of a highly skilled veterinarian in keeping the shelter population healthy.

We emphasize the importance of disease control in the shelter situation, review vaccination strategies for shelters, and discuss preventive medicine programs. Other topics to be discussed include the pet overpopulation crisis facing our community, treatment of heartworm disease, recognizing animal abuse and neglect, and the importance of community involvement in reducing the number of unwanted animals in our local shelters.

Our vision is the development of a veterinary workforce sensitive to the animal welfare needs of its community.

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Spread the word about our life-saving programs! Download our Veterinary Community Outreach Program Informational Brochure.

Looking for volunteer opportunities? The Veterinary Community Outreach Program periodically has volunteer positions available for undergraduate or pre-veterinary students. As positions become available information will be posted on this site…check back often!