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PetSmart Charities promotes shelter medicine careers

Student scholarships and research projects make up part of a $510,000 donation.

PetSmart Charities promotes shelter medicine careers
A mobile clinic operated by the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine and funded by PetSmart Charities provides students with hands-on shelter medicine experience.

PetSmart Charities is funding $1,000 scholarships for a select number of veterinary students interested in studying the human-animal bond or shelter medicine.

The scholarships are part of a $510,000 donation to be shared by 21 veterinary schools. Each school will receive $5,000 to support a student-led research project and can select a student ambassador who will engage “fellow students, faculty and the community in events like adoption fairs and pet food drives” in exchange for a $750 honorarium each semester, the charitable group reported.

The $1,000 scholarships may be awarded to up to four students at each school.

“Historically, there’s been a bit of a stigma within the veterinary community about working in a shelter environment or low-cost clinic due to perceptions of poor work-life balance, limited advancement opportunities and inadequate compensation,” said Amanda Landis-Hanna, DVM, senior manager of PetSmart Charities’ veterinary outreach program. “These are all misconceptions as these experiences can be truly rewarding for a veterinarian. Through this investment, we hope to disprove this stigma and encourage veterinary students to consider jump-starting their career in a shelter or low-cost clinic.”

Nineteen participating schools were announced, and two others are under consideration. The confirmed schools are Colorado State University, Cornell University, Lincoln Memorial University, Louisiana State University, Midwestern University, Mississippi State University, Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University, Tufts University, the University of Georgia, the University of Guelph, the University of Florida, the University of Missouri, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Tennessee, Western University and the University of California, Davis.

PetSmart Charities, the charitable arm of the PetSmart retail chain, has granted more than $6 million since 2015 to fund hands-on learning opportunities and experiential education.

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