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. We are part of the UF Veterinary Hospitals. 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.

Take a look inside a typical day at VCOP

Thanks to Mackenzie Dagostino for donating her video skills

Volunteer Opportunities

The Veterinary Community Outreach Program periodically has volunteer positions available for undergraduate or pre-veterinary students. E-mail for more information!

For More Information

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