The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine recently received a three year, $1.7 million grant from Maddie’s Fund to expand its shelter medicine program.
Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program is geared to enhance support for local animal rescue operations, improve disease control and adoption rates among shelter animals and expand professional training.
“This is a transitional time for the animal welfare field as growing demand for animal-friendly solutions is challenging traditional sheltering paradigms,” said Julie Levy, DVM, Ph.D., who will become the Maddie’s professor of shelter medicine at the college and was a co-investigator on the grant.
“There is an international desire to shift from a reactive animal-control model in which massive numbers of animals are processed through shelters with an overall high euthanasia rate to one in which proactive preventive measures reduce shelter admissions with individualized programs tailored to different types of animals to result in higher save rates.”
Cynda Crawford, DVM, Ph.D., a co-discoverer of the canine influenza virus, will be the Maddie’s clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine.
She will work with Dr. Levy and Natalie Isaza, DVM, to implement additional clinical and educational programs. Dr. Isaza, the university’s Merial clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine, founded the college’s shelter medicine program.