A paw up

Donor’s generosity provides care for shelter animals and opportunity for K-State veterinary students

Veterinary medicine students at Kansas State University will soon be going mobile with their new Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit. The clinical sciences department in the College of Veterinary Medicine recently purchased the mobile surgical unit to allow students and faculty to perform on-site, pre-adoption spay/neuter procedures and provide medical care to enhance the health and adoptability of shelter animals. Agreements have already been established to provide services for nonprofit and municipal animal shelter organizations in Manhattan, Junction City, Ottawa, Emporia, Topeka, Lawrence, Salina and Clay Center beginning May 11.

The Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit was made possible by a donation from Cheryl Mellenthin in honor of two people who were important to the College of Veterinary Medicine family: the late Chris Gruber, director of development and Mellenthin’s late husband, Mark Chapman.

“We are deeply humbled by the passion and amazing commitment to animal health and shelter medicine education expressed through Cheryl’s gift,” said Ralph C. Richardson, dean of the college. “Her generosity helps provide long-term sustainability to our shelter medicine program plus much-needed scholarship support. This also helps us to further our mission of outreach and service to the state of Kansas. The benefits will be far reaching and we can’t thank Cheryl enough.”

The mobile surgical unit complements the college’s shelter medicine program, which is a service-learning course for fourth-year veterinary students to get hands-on experience under the supervision of a shelter medicine faculty member. Most shelter organizations do not have a veterinarian on staff nor do they have on-site surgical facilities.

Students are projected to perform 2,800 to 3,500 spay/neuter procedures in the first year. Communities participating in the shelter medicine program are encouraged to look for a large purple vehicle that says, “Future Vets Helping Future Pets.”

Shelter Medicine

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