September 2016 by Dr. Elizabeth Berliner, DVM, MA, DABVP

Audience: Executive Leadership, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 56 minutes

Assessing quality of life is a complex process, even for humans who are able to communicate their level of distress or discomfort. Assessing quality of life for companion animals, especially in a shelter context, is even more complex. This lecture looks at some of the research into human and companion animal quality of life assessment, and explores how as veterinarians we can better understand quality of life concerns for shelter animals in order to inform our daily decision-making. Case examples will be used to illustrate principles. This presentation was recorded at the 2016 ASPCA Cornell Maddie's® Shelter Medicine conference at Cornell University.

About Dr. Elizabeth Berliner

Dr. Berliner is the Janet L. Swanson Director of Shelter Medicine of the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. She serves on the Association of Shelter Veterinarian's Board of Directors and the organizing committee for the new shelter medicine specialty. At Cornell, she directs the internship and the residency in shelter medicine, trains veterinary students in both classroom and shelter settings, and consults with animal shelters regarding best practices. Among Elizabeth's interests are diagnosis, management, and prevention of infectious diseases; animal welfare, veterinary ethics, and decision-making; and innovative outreach programs promoting accessible veterinary care and humane behaviors. Elizabeth also acts as seasonal lead veterinarian for the HSVMA's Rural Area Veterinary Services program, which facilitates mobile spay/neuter and preventive medicine clinics in rural areas of the US to communities without access to veterinary care.