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University of Arizona Veterinary Students Take On Shelter Medicine

Written by: Arizona Humane Society
The first class of graduating students are completing their one-month Shelter Medicine Rotation at AHS’ teaching hospital.

The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) is excited to announce that its first round of University of Arizona (UA) Veterinary Medicine students have started a shelter medicine rotation within AHS’ teaching hospital.

Each month, eight to ten students who are in their last year of studies at UA, will complete a required shelter medicine rotation involving all medical aspects of AHS which includes:

  • AHS’ trauma hospital – an emergency room for homeless pets
  • Spay/neuter shelter surgery
  • Medical appointments for foster pets
  • Intensive care units – Parvo Puppy ICU, Bottle Baby Kittens, Kitten Nursery & Mutternity Suites
  • Community medicine & Field Operations which consists of AHS’ rescue efforts

AHS anticipates 100 students completing the program in the next year which could not have come at a better time as the industry experiences a nationwide shortage of veterinarians.

“Fortunately, AHS, alongside its partners at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, recently led efforts to pass a veterinary loan assistance program as part of the 2023 state budget,” said Dr. Melissa Thompson, AHS Vice President of Medical Operations. “Newly minted veterinarians who graduate after January 1, 2023 will be eligible for $100,000 in student loan forgiveness provided they work in Arizona for four years and spend at least two years working at a municipal, county, or nonprofit shelter or in an agricultural practice designated by the USDA as having a shortage. The funding could help support upwards of 50 new veterinarians and is a win-win for the veterinarians, Arizona’s pets and their owners who may be having trouble securing timely vet care due to the shortage.”

AHS will continue to provide updates as the Arizona Board of Regents finalizes the application process.

September 7, 2022