Making a Dif-fur-ence

I was curious to see if Purdue had any ties to animal adoption in the area, and while I was looking it up, I came across this program called Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program. Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM) established this program through a gift given by Maddie’s Fund. Maddie’s Fund helps to create a no-kill nation where healthy and treatable dogs and cats at shelters are guaranteed a good home. The founders of the foundation had a dog named Maddie whom they saved and inspired them to give back to other shelters.

In July 2008 Maddie’s Fund awarded the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue $1.1 million to develop Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program. This program focuses on three major areas: education and training, research and dissemination of information on shelter medicine. PVM has partnered with the Humane Society of Indianapolis  and PAWS Chicago.

The mission of this program is really cool:

-Work toward ending pet homelessness in the U.S. by looking at its causes on the community and developing cost-effective methods of population control

-Improve the quality of life in pets living in shelters through humane research

-Educate and train veterinary professionals in shelter medicine, animal behavior and companion animal welfare

-Foster a better understanding of the human-animal bond among pet owners, community leaders, and the public and develop programs to strengthen this bond.

Information collected by this research program is presented at national, regional, and local meetings for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other interested in the subject. Every year at the Purdue Fall Conference held in late September, there is a one-day Shelter Medicine Track. If you are a DVM or Vet Tech student, you should consider taking the 15-lecture course in Shelter Animal Medicine, the centerpiece of the program.

If you are in the College of Veterinary Medicine, there are many opportunities for you to get involved in this program, ranging from student shelter experiences to a 12-week summer research program. If you live in the Indianapolis or Chicago area, consider volunteering at one of their partner shelters. This would be a great way to get involved.

This is a great program at Purdue, and I’m glad I found out about it. It makes me feel great to know I go to a university that cares as much about helping shelter animals as I do.

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