Archived News


November 21, 2000

Maddie's Fund, a pet rescue foundation whose aim is to help animal shelters throughout the nation establish community-wide adoption guarantees for healthy cats and dogs, announced today that it has awarded $394,000.00 to support the first year of a pioneering new Shelter Medicine Program at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis. Funding will continue over six years for a total of $2.2 million dollars. The program will be designated Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program after the Foundation's inspiration, a miniature schnauzer named Maddie. The School of Veterinary Medicine is creating the new Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program to help reduce the incidence of disease and behavior problems in shelter cats and dogs. The Program will improve the quality of pet lives during shelter stays, reduce shelter deaths and increase the adoptability of shelter animals. The Program will also develop a well-informed pool of specialists who will be important resources for shelter managers nationwide in years to come. The Program is scheduled to begin in January, 2001.

"This is truly a groundbreaking effort," says Janet Foley, DVM, coordinator of Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program. "The topics we're focusing on have never been thoroughly addressed in a formal manner by the veterinary profession. Disease problems in shelter environments, facility design, husbandry procedures, shelter animal housing and flow patterns, vaccination regimens and stress reduction have never been a part of pet medicine, which has traditionally been the cornerstone of small animal medicine training."

The new Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program is designed with three major components:

  • Shelter Medicine Training-classroom instruction and hands-on shelter work for veterinary students and post-graduate residents.
  • Shelter Medicine Service-diagnostic and medical support for shelters, including animal behavior assistance, a shelter consultation service and symposiums for continuing education.
  • Shelter Medicine Research-lab or field based studies to improve medical delivery for shelter animals.

"UC Davis is making a huge statement with the launch of Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program," says Maddie's Fund Veterinary Consultant, Dr. Laurie Peek. "Now, a premier school of veterinary medicine is bringing national attention to the increasing importance of animal shelters in society, the necessity to train veterinarians to work in shelters, and the need to make shelters safer and healthier places for our companion animals."

Foley will be assisted in January, 2001 by new staff member Michael Bannasch. School of Veterinary Medicine graduate Kate Hurley (1999) will begin as the program's first resident effective February 1. The Shelter Medicine Program has already begun working with several regional animal shelters, including the Berkeley Humane Society, Solano County Animal Care, and the Sacramento County Animal Shelter.

To read the entire twenty-eight page proposal submitted by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, go to and look under "Funded Projects." Foley's infectious disease research is outlined on the school's Web site at

Janet Foley, DVM
Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program Coordinator
(530) 752-3692