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Penn Vet to Begin Internship Program at Local Shelter

The partnership between the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals aims to maximize welfare and adoptability of pets.

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The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is partnering with Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals of Radnor, Pa., with the hope to maximize the welfare and adoptability of pets in need of homes. Behavior problems are the leading cause of pet relinquishment, according to Penn Vet. The partnership aims to reduce that.

As such, Penn Vet’s M. Leanne Lilly, DVM, will begin a special internship at the shelter, assessing and treating animal residents with behavioral problems and establishing a training program for shelter staff and volunteers. Together, Penn Vet and the Francisvale team will monitor the progress and long-term outcomes of the program.

In addition, Penn Vet will provide support to adopters by offering post-adoption behavioral counseling.

“This partnership presents an extraordinary opportunity to further enrich the lives of the dogs and cats that presently reside at Francisvale and of those who may find themselves at our doors,” said Dorothy Claeys, executive director of the Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals. “The collaboration will also provide an incredible educational opportunity for our staff and volunteers who will be working with and learning from the Penn Vet team. We cannot imagine a better way to advance Francisvale’s mission than by implementing a program like this to provide each one of our dogs and cats with the best possible chance at finding their forever home.”

Carlo Siracusa, DVM, Ph.D., director of the Animal Behavior Service at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital, added, “As a no-kill shelter, Francisvale is home to many dogs and cats that have lived in the facility for several years. This unique collaboration will enhance the welfare of these long-term residents, improve their behavior and strengthen the training of staff and volunteers. The ultimate goal, of course, is to help animals find their forever homes and to reinforce the special bond between people and their pets.”

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