October 23, 2006
For hungry, homeless and abandoned pets, a community animal shelter is often the first and last safety net. During the week of Nov. 5, the Humane Society of the United States will be celebrating National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, encouraging community members to lend a hand to their local shelters.
"In addition to providing food, care and shelter for unwanted pets, shelters also offer low-cost spay and neuter procedures, dog licensing, micro-chipping and dog handling classes," said veterinarian Sandra Newbury of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at UC Davis' School of Veterinary Medicine. "Many also offer outreach programs, providing dogs and cats to help children with learning difficulties or to visit sick or elderly people. To do all of this they rely on support from the public."
Newbury suggests that community members can assist their local shelters by donating animal food, blankets, towels or other supplies, by volunteering time at the shelter, and by helping the shelter raise funds through community events. They also can help by adopting pets from the shelter, by spaying or neutering their own pets and by reporting suspected animal abuse or neglect.
The Koret Shelter Medicine Program at UC Davis focuses on the special veterinary medical issues associated with the shelter environment. It also offers advice and consultation services to shelter managers, and assists with dog-training classes for dogs adopted from shelters.
And, it offers diagnostic services for animal-welfare groups.
While assisting animal shelters, the program also helps prepare veterinary students for careers in shelter medicine and offers shelter-medicine specialists the opportunity to pursue scientific research aimed at improving the welfare of animals in shelters.
More information about the shelter medicine program is available online at <http://www.sheltermedicine.com/about/welcome.shtml>.
This news tip was originally distributed by UC Davis News Service.
* Sandra Newbury, Koret Shelter Medicine Program, (608) 288-1147 , firstname.lastname@example.org
* Lynn Narlesky, Vet. Med. Dean's Office, (530) 752-5257,