Thousands of shelter animals will be spayed or neutered over the next year inside a mobile surgical unit serving shelters across eastern Kansas.
The Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine on Monday dedicated a 32-foot gooseneck trailer, which a Ford F-350 diesel pickup will transport to nonprofit and municipal shelters in Manhattan, Junction City, Ottawa, Emporia, Topeka, Lawrence, Salina and Clay Center, Kan.
Conducting the surgeries will be Kansas State veterinary students completing an elective two-week shelter medicine rotation.
“We believe students will develop a strong appreciation for the magnitude of the homeless pet population and will be prepared to volunteer and advocate for shelters in their communities after graduation,” said Brad Crauer, DVM, an assistant clinical professor who directs the shelter medicine program.
A donation from longtime college supporter Cheryl Mellenthin paid for the Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit. The gift was delivered in honor of Mellenthin’s late husband Mark Chapman, a Kansas State graduate, and Chris Gruber, who served as the college’s director of development until his 2013 death.
“We are deeply humbled by the passion and amazing commitment to animal health and shelter medicine education expressed through Cheryl’s gift,” said the college’s dean, Ralph C. Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM. “Her generosity helps provides long-term sustainability to our shelter medicine program plus much-needed scholarship support.
“This also helps us to further our mission of outreach and service to the state of Kansas. The benefits will be far-reaching, and we can’t thank Cheryl enough.”
From 2,800 to 3,500 sterilization surgeries are expected to be performed in the first year.
The trailer bears the slogan “Future Vets Helping Future Pets.”