The shelter medicine program will consist of four components:
* Residency training. The cornerstone of the program will be the establishment of a three-year residency. In addition to being certified by the veterinary college as proficient in shelter medicine at the completion of the program, residents will also complete training for an MS in epidemiology.
Residents will take related coursework and rotate through pertinent veterinary services; consult with core shelters, evaluate and recommend changes in existing medical and behavioral programs and design shelter protocols; assist in the instruction and supervision of veterinary students; and design and implement a research project and publish the results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Veterinary student training. Two elective courses will be available to veterinary students -- Issues and Preventive Medicine in Animal Shelters and Managing Infectious Disease in Small Animal Populations. Two core classes will include material on shelter medicine. Students will also be able to participate in an elective rotation in Shelter Medicine and apply for externships.
Diagnostic support. The Animal Health Diagnostic Center (including virology, bacteriology, mycology, parasitology and clinical pathology) will provide diagnostic work-ups to evaluate the populations at core and affiliated shelters. The work-ups will help identify the cause of problems, develop problem-specific preventive or control strategies, evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and identify the causes of outbreaks.
The shelter medicine program will work with two core shelters, the Tompkins County SPCA and the Humane Society of Rochester and Monroe County at Lollypop Farms. It will also work with two adoption-guarantee affiliated shelters, Pet Pride of New York and Peace Plantation Animal Sanctuary of New York.
"We are very excited about working with Cornell, consistently ranked as the nation's top college of veterinary medicine,'' says Laurie Peek, Maddie's veterinary consultant. "I have no doubt that [the program] will quickly become a leader in the emerging field of shelter medicine."
Donald F. Smith, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell, considers the gift as one of the most significant educational developments in recent years. "The abiding commitment to shelter medicine is of enormous importance to the advancement of veterinary medicine, in general, but especially to the vital relationship between pets and humans," he said.
ABOUT MADDIE'S FUND
Maddie's FundŽ, The Pet Rescue Foundation, (www.maddiesfund.org) is a family foundation funded by PeopleSoft Founder Dave Duffield, and his wife, Cheryl, to help create a no-kill nation. The first step is to help develop programs that guarantee loving homes for all healthy shelter dogs and cats throughout the country. The next step will be to save the sick and injured pets in animal shelters nationwide. Maddie's Fund is named after the family's beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997.