Shelter Medicine

Shelter Medicine is a growing field of veterinary medicine dedicated to the care of homeless animals in shelters. With a focus on disease prevention, physical and behavioral wellness, and helping to make the animals in our care adoptable, HSSC’s Shelter Medicine team treats a variety of medical needs. From routine preventative care to comprehensive medical work-ups, surgery, and dentistry, we strive to provide the highest quality medical care possible.

Who we are

Our shelter medicine team consists of three veterinarians four registered veterinary technicians (RVTs), eight veterinary assistants, and dozens of dedicated volunteers. Shelter medicine staff work closely with animal care, foster, intake & admissions, behavior, and adoptions staff to provide coordinated care to the animals housed at our two shelter locations and in foster care.

What we do

The shelter medicine team stays busy seven days a week, 365 days a year, caring for our shelter population. They begin each day with “shelter rounds” where they check on every animal housed at the shelter to ensure they have what they need and to monitor any ongoing health concerns. Over the course of the day, they perform physical exams, run diagnostics, provide medical treatments, and follow up on existing medical issues. The DVMs perform surgery and sedated procedures, and support staff perform dentals, x-rays, and assist in surgery.

Shelter medicine staff provide medical care to improve the health of every animal and help make them more adoptable. Many of the animals that enter our shelter arrive with little to no medical history—they may have been strays, suffer from disease or injury, or were victims of neglect. These complex histories put this population of animals at higher risk for infectious diseases and behavioral needs.

An important goal of ours is to provide medical care that minimizes the overall length of stay of our entire animal population. This means preventing illness, working alongside our behavior team, containing infectious disease outbreaks quickly, providing support to foster parents, and working closely with adopters so they are able to take over the care of animals who have manageable conditions.

Although we work hard and our days can be long, it is rewarding to know that the efforts of our team truly make a difference for the animals in our care.