University of Florida to expand shelter operations by fall

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine plans to expand its shelter operations through a new mobile unit that is currently under construction

The University of Florida Veterinary Community Outreach Program has plans to broaden its spay-neuter training for students by fall 2016 with a new mobile unit that is currently under construction. The program will also better accommodate regional shelter operations with limited access to medical services, according to the university.

The mobile program will be able to include 75 UF veterinary medical students. There may be additional seats for qualified students from other universities as well, said Brian DiGangi, DVM, a clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine.

The new vehicle will accommodate three students per clinical rotation, for a three-to-one student to instructor ratio. Veterinary clinicians will provide direct, on-site student supervision at all times, Dr. DiGangi noted.

“As a new program component, we anticipate four surgical days per week during our initial year of operation, but this could expand to five days per week in subsequent years, further increasing the number of procedures performed,” DiGangi said.

Although most of the program’s expenses have been covered through a $283,040 grant from PetSmart Charities, additional funds need to be raised before the program can begin operating, DiGangi said. Anyone seeking more information or to donate should contact Karen Legato at 352-294-4213.

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