ASPCA Prepares Veterinarians to Provide Specialized Care for Shelter Animals through New Shelter Medicine Practitioner Pathway Mentorship

Participants to receive in-depth mentorship in all aspects of shelter medicine
October 24, 2022

NEW YORK –The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced it is launching the Shelter Medicine Practitioner Pathway Mentorship (PPM) to support licensed veterinarians working towards American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) Shelter Medicine Practice certification. Shelter medicine practitioners provide care to some of the most vulnerable animal patients across the country. The ASPCA’s new mentorship program will provide participants with advanced knowledge and skills in all aspects of shelter medicine including shelter operations, population health, behavioral health, facility design, outbreak management, high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter surgery, community outreach, cruelty investigations and forensics, and disaster response.

“The ASPCA recognizes the importance of providing veterinarians with the necessary tools to increase their knowledge of Shelter Medicine Practice, especially as animal shelters continue experiencing the negative impacts of the ongoing veterinary workforce shortage,” said Stephanie Janeczko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA, Vice President of ASPCA Shelter Medicine Services. “The ASPCA Shelter Medicine Practitioner Pathway Mentorship is a pivotal step in creating new opportunities for veterinarians to support shelter animal health and wellbeing.”

Program participants will be directly mentored by an ABVP Shelter Medicine Practice board-certified veterinarian on the ASPCA Shelter Medicine Services (SMS) team. The ASPCA SMS department works to improve the health and welfare of animals in shelters and communities by strengthening shelter medicine programs, and strategically applying expertise to improve animal health and shelter function. The SMS team includes six veterinarians with extensive experience and expertise in the field and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based shelter medicine principles through research, publication of resources, and shelter consultations.

Shelter veterinarians provide a unique blend of individual and population level care for homeless animals, including a strong focus on physical and behavioral wellness. Shelter Medicine Practice was formally recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association as a veterinary specialty in 2014, an acknowledgement that veterinarians who work with or for shelters require unique knowledge and skills to design and oversee comprehensive programs that support animals in shelters and at risk of homelessness.

For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to help shelter animals, please visit