University of Florida Awards World's First-Ever Shelter Medicine Online Certificates

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Thirty-one veterinarians and veterinary students have just completed the Maddie's® Online Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine. These new certificate holders are now the first in the world to complete the fully online program offered by the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

This online graduate certificate program provides students with the unique medical and surgical skills they need to meet the challenge of caring for large numbers of homeless pets.

"I thought I knew a lot about Shelter Medicine, having spent a year working in a cats-only animal shelter prior to taking my first course in the program," said Candice Corriher, D.V.M., one of the students who just completed the certificate program. "It's truly unbelievable how much I've taken away from these courses, and how I've been putting it all to good use while working in animal shelters in my area."

Although the academic study of shelter medicine is growing in popularity, few veterinarians leave school with intensive training in this field. The Maddie's® Online Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicineat UF allows all veterinarians and veterinary students to gain advanced knowledge in best practices for protecting the health and welfare of shelter animals.

"Our online students include veterinarians with 30 years of experience, veterinary students, and recent graduates," said Terry Spencer, D.V.M., director of distance education for the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program. "We have professionals who advise their local shelters, work primarily as shelter veterinarians, go on international mission trips, and serve as faculty at other universities all studying together online. We're so proud of them all."

The graduate certificate is designed for working professionals and covers subjects critical to treating sheltered animals, such as sterilization, infectious diseases, animal cruelty, behavioral assessment treatment, and preventative healthcare.

The University of Florida recently approved the courses in this certificate as part of an online Master's Degree in Veterinary Sciences that will enroll its first students in the summer of 2014.

About the Maddie's® Online Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine

Maddie's® Online Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine is a nine-credit program provided by the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and Maddie's® Fund. The courses offered are Integrating Veterinary Medicine within Shelter Systems, Shelter Animal Physical Health, and Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare.

About the University of Florida

The University of Florida is one of the largest academic institutions in the United States and is accredited by the Association of American Universities and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more information about the program, please visit the website at

Media Contact: Terry Spencer, University of Florida's Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program, 352.578.3004,

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SOURCE University of Florida's Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program



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