Getting More Veterinarians Involved Editorial

2002 by Rich Avanzino

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Maddie's Fund looks to the veterinary profession to help with the spay/neuter portion of our community collaborations.

While the humane component consists of a coalition of traditional shelters, rescue groups, animal control agencies and adoption guarantee organizations and is responsible for increasing adoptions, the veterinarian component generally operates under the auspices of a veterinary medical association which can be a state, county, regional or city association, depending on each community's situation.

We've found that generally it's just too hard for humane coalitions to successfully manage and implement spay/neuter and adoption programs. It's especially hard to create and put in operation spay/neuter programs with private practice veterinarians to achieve above baseline performance.

We've also realized that veterinarians respond with greater enthusiasm to proposals from other veterinarians, especially professional veterinary associations. This makes perfect sense. Most people relate better to their colleagues than to outsiders.

The question is, why work with private practice veterinarians at all? Why not just invest in high volume spay/neuter clinics run by humane organizations?

High volume spay/neuter clinics do a great job, and the humane community is committed to their ongoing success. But Maddie's Fund wants to expand the network and build upon what is already being done. We want to use some of our resources to entice more veterinarians to get involved: to help with spay/neuter surgeries, to work with local animal shelters - to help build community-wide safety nets of care.

Maddie's Fund believes it's time to open outstretched arms to a very precious resource right under our nose - an army of respected veterinary professionals who have the ability to make a world of difference for homeless, abandoned animals.

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