Shelter Medicine

We advance shelter medicine as a veterinary specialty through research, specialty training and education, and the performance of veterinary service in animal shelters.

We improve the quality of life of animals in shelters through improvements in veterinary preventive medicine and management of disease.

  • Photo: CCAH

    Dr. Kate Hurley oversees the Koret Shelter Medicine Program.

  • Photo: CCAH
  • Photo: CCAH
  • Photo: CCAH

In 2001, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine launched the first shelter medicine program in the world. Since then, our Koret Shelter Medicine Program has moved beyond the basics — how to vaccinate, clean, feed and handle animals — to guide the whole animal-shelter system. The program offers organizational evaluations, facility design consultations, and assistance with outbreak diagnosis and management, all intended to provide practical, cost-effective advice to improve animal welfare and adoptability.

The program’s training component teaches DVM students to understand the unique needs of animal shelters. We are also training residents so more people can do this important work. Thanks to the support of donors who share our same vision, the program remains a national leader in advancing the quality of life of animals in shelters.