Grant funds shelter medicine extension veterinarian

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In June, PetSmart Charities announced a three-year, $420,750 grant to the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to fully fund an extension veterinarian in shelter medicine. The position is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.

The grant meets a need for an academic position dedicated to extending veterinary medical knowledge to shelter professionals, veterinary practitioners, and the public on issues associated with the care of abandoned pets.

According to PetSmart, until this grant, there was no such position in the United States to provide for the needs of professionals and staff serving millions of homeless pets. The program will hopefully serve as a model for other such enterprises, the company said.

"There is a tremendous need for education, information, and outreach in shelters across the United States," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities. "We are proud to fund this groundbreaking initiative that will pave the way for continued progress in the animal welfare field and help save the lives of countless homeless pets."