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Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program

Saving lives through science, leadership, and service.

For Veterinary Students

Why choose shelter medicine?

  • Are you interested in helping communities at a population, or community, level?
  • Do you want to focus on overall community pet education, pet overpopulation, and responsible pet care?
  • Would you like to understand how the shelter plays a role in the health of a community (both in infectious disease and through the human-animal bond).?
  • Do you want to save lives?

Why study shelter medicine at Cornell University?

Cornell University's Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program is one of the few schools offering a robust shelter medicine program, that not only teaches classes, but has a rotation for students in their clinical years and is dedicated to training new shelter veterinarians. 

Opportunities for further study

Internship in Shelter Medicine

This one year internship provides graduate veterinarians with specialized training in all areas of shelter medicine, including surgical techniques, shelter management techniques, population health, animal behavior, and epidemiology.

Shelter Medicine Clinical Rotation 

During this two week rotation in shelter medicine, 4th year veterinary students from Cornell and other universities get a glimpse into the world of shelter medicine and hands on experience at a local shelter. 


With support from the ASPCA or Maddie's® Fund, our program provides funds for travel and housing to Cornell veterinary students interested in completing an externship for up to two weeks at shelters and humane organizations. Please see our website for more information. 


Elizabeth Berliner, DVM

Lena DeTar, DVM

Erin Henry, DVM

Responding to Animals in Disasters Workshop

Graduate level courses focused on topics in shelter medicine are available to veterinary students currently enrolled at the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine. Current class offerings include Companion Animal Welfare, An Introduction to Shelter Medicine, Advanced Shelter Medicine, Disaster Response, and the Clinical Rotation in Shelter Medicine: Principles & Practice. 

Shelter Medicine Student Club 

Cornell's student-run Shelter Medicine Club sponsors clinics, lectures and other activities around shelter medicine, humane handling, companion animal behavior, and animal welfare. 

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