Champion animal welfare in your community - Veterinary Medicine
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Champion animal welfare in your community
Veterinarians save lives when they partner with shelters and other animal organizations.


What Works for Dr. Brian Forsgren
Dr. Gary Patronek, VMD, PhD, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University, suggests making yourself aware of the various re-homing groups in your community, though he cautions against referring to groups before screening their work. In his area, a veterinarian could use the services of 40 to 50 regional breed groups. "There are networks of foster homes," he explains. "It's like a loose sponge, an unorganized network of grass roots organizations and individuals. It calls for more effort on the part of veterinarians."

As Dr. Janet M. Scarlett, DVM, director of the Maddie's Shelter Medicine program at Cornell University, puts it, "We live in communities, and veterinarians have an obligation to the larger community."

Dr. Forsgren agrees: "We're not here just to make money or to have our egos fed," he says. "We're here for a reason. All that self-worth stuff that our generation believed in—well, some of us still think about that."


1. Secovich SJ. Case study: companion animal over-population programs in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maine. Available at

2. Imagine Humane. Solutions to the overpopulation of pets: state funded spay/neuter in New Hampshire. Available at

3. FIREPAW. Cross-program statistical analysis of Maddie's Fund programs. August 2004;9. Available at


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