Animal sheltering in the United States: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow - Veterinary Medicine
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Animal sheltering in the United States: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
Dog pounds are a thing of the past. Today's animal shelters are community centers that provide numerous public services. But these services, such as behavior classes, often require veterinary input. Are you up to the challenge?


VETERINARY MEDICINE


The Association of Shelter Veterinarians was formed in 2001 and now has more than 500 members. The association has a Web site ( http://www.sheltervet.org/) and list serve and is in the early stages of seeking specialty board status.

CONCLUSION

Animal shelters continue to evolve. A dramatic shift from dog pounds, in which minimal care was provided and death was almost inescapable, to community service centers, which provide information and resources to protect both the public and animals from harm, has already occurred. Many shelters provide animal behavior classes; sanctuary for animals belonging to victims of domestic violence; programs that help at-risk youth and other populations; humane-education, bite-prevention, and animal- assisted-therapy programs; and state-of-the-art veterinary care. They also offer externship and training programs for future shelter veterinarians and microchipping and vaccination clinics for low-income clients. In addition, shelters engage in various fundraising efforts, both educational and philanthropic, to benefit shelters and their animals.

The veterinary community must engage in research and education to meet the challenge of maintaining and improving the health and well-being of shelter animals and help prevent the euthanasia of millions of dogs and cats in the United States.

Lila Miller, DVM
Department of Veterinary Outreach
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
424 E. 92nd St.
New York City, NY 10128

REFERENCES

1. Zawistowski S, Morris J. The evolving animal shelter. In: Miller L, Zawistowski S, eds. Shelter medicine for veterinarians and staff. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing, 2004;3-9.

2. Edwards MA. The practice of veterinary medicine in a humane society facility. In: Kirk RW, Bonagura JD, eds. Current veterinary therapy X. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co, 1989;85-90.

3. Scarlett J. Pet population dynamics and animal shelter issues. In: Miller L, Zawistowski S, eds. Shelter medicine for veterinarians and staff. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing, 2004;11-15.

4. New York State Education Department. Veterinary medicine page. Available at: http://www.op.nysed.gov/article135.htm Article 135, 6705.10. Accessed Sept 05, 2007.

5. Edinboro CH, Janowitz LK, Guptill-Yoran L, et al. A clinical trial of intranasal and subcutaneous vaccines to prevent upper respiratory infection in cats at an animal shelter. Feline Practice 1999;27:7-11,13.


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Source: VETERINARY MEDICINE,
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