Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program

Saving lives through science, leadership, and service.

Shelter Consultation Services

*Due to Cornell University's new travel restrictions related to COVID-19, we are unable to travel for on-site shelter consultations at this time. Please continue to email us at for remote assistance. Thank you. 

Outbreak Response Assistance

If you are experiencing what seems to be a disease outbreak in your shelter, please first email us at Include a description of why you are contacting us along with your contact information (name, organization, email, phone, etc.). A member of our veterinary staff will respond to you within 24 hours. 

We welcome consultations with shelters!

Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell offers a range of consultative services, both remote and on-site, to interested shelters. We are also happy to help with interpretation and application of diagnostic testing submitted by shelters through the AHDC at Cornell. We provide email, telephone, and in-shelter consultations. You may reach us:

  • We do not charge for email or telephone consultations.
  • We do charge for visits to shelters. We ask shelters to cover our travel costs (travel, lodging and food) and we charge for our professional services. In light of our recognition that shelters have limited resources, our fees are nominal. Please contact us for more information at

Remote Consultations

Email Consultations

We answer questions that can be addressed briefly via email within 1-3 days of receipt of the inquiry. In 2019, MSMP at Cornell responded to over 100 email consultations from 55 different sheltering organizations. Topics included disease outbreak, protocols for care, treatment of animals, facilities design, and guidelines and advice pertaining to COVID-19.  

On-site Shelter Consultations 

Our consultations in shelters usually involve either targeted consults or full shelter health evaluations resulting in a written report of our findings and recommendations. 

Targeted consults: if you are experiencing a particular problem (such as an outbreak of disease) or you wish to improve specific aspects of animal care (such as reducing the incidence of a particular disease or improving your behavioral wellness program), we will visit your facility to investigate and make written recommendations to address the problem/issue. 

Full shelter health evaluations: If you would like us to evaluate your health- or behavior-related program overall, we conduct full shelter evaluations. The range of services we provide are outlined below.

Our range of services can include recommendations regarding:

Outbreak investigation
Cleaning and disinfection
Health-related protocols regarding:
  • Vaccination
  • Intake
  • Euthanasia
  • Nutrition
  • Foster care
  • Parasite control
  • Disease surveillance
  • Animal and staff traffic patterns
  • Disease testing
Case management in the shelter
Behavior-related protocols regarding:
  • Canine and feline behavior assessment
  • Behavior modification in the shelter
  • Dog training
  • Enrichment
  • Stress management for dogs and cats
Evaluation and management of shelter statistics
Shelter design