College of Veterinary Medicine's Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit brings
veterinary services to area animal sheltersK-State
Communications and Marketing
|Starting May 11, fourth-year
veterinary students at Kansas State University will man the College of
Veterinary Medicine's new Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit, bringing
veterinary care to area animal shelters. (Photo: K-State Communications
students at Kansas State University will soon be going mobile. On April 13, the
College of Veterinary Medicine dedicated its new Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery
The clinical sciences department 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. The service to regional shelters will begin May 11.
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 in Kansas do not have a veterinarian on staff nor do they
have on-site surgical facilities.
The success of the program is dependent
on developing strong and sustainable relationships with regional shelters.
Sixty-six students from the graduating class of 2016 — fourth-year students —
are scheduled to complete this elective two-week rotation.
students will develop a strong appreciation for the magnitude of the homeless
pet population and will be prepared to volunteer and advocate for shelters in
their communities after graduation," said Brad Crauer, an assistant clinical
professor who was recently hired to direct the shelter medicine program. In
addition to individual animal care, Crauer also provides consultation services
for regional shelters on infectious disease control and behavior
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 provides 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."
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