Course Overview

Shelter medicine is a growing specialty within veterinary medicine. It encompasses numerous components affecting the welfare of animals, and humans, such as animal cruelty, animal hoarding, forensics, disease outbreak management, and animal population control. There have been many changes in shelter medicine over the last few years. Are you and your team current on those changes?

What Every Practitioner Should Know About Shelter Medicine is a free course offered in cooperation with the ASPCA.

It is vital for veterinarians, and the entire practice team, to have an appreciation for shelter medicine as it has evolved and to understand the challenges facing modern shelter medicine.

This course was authored and narrated by Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA Vice President, Shelter Medicine.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 2 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

RACE Subject Category: Medical; Delivery Method: Non-interactive Distance; Program Number 753401.


Content Author

Lila Miller, DVM
ASPCA Vice President, Shelter Medicine


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

This course is appropriate for every member of the practice team.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • define shelter medicine
  • compare and contrast different types of shelters
  • recognize the need for shelter medicine in today’s multi-functioning shelter facilities
  • outline the trends taking place in animal shelters for the benefit of the animal and potential new owner
  • consider the value of the education provided to veterinary students while interning in shelters
  • identify the various specialties that are involved in shelter medicine
  • state the function of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians
  • outline the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters and list the Five Freedoms
  • discuss the numerous challenges that animal shelters must overcome and manage


Open Enrollment with Immediate Access and Individual Time Limits

This is an open enrollment course. Participants may enroll at any time. Upon submission of enrollment the participant is immediately added to the course. The course welcome email provides login and other important information.

This is an asynchronous course, meaning it does not contain real time components. Participants do not need to be logged into the course at specific times to attend lectures or view presentations.

Participants do not need to complete the course in one sitting. However, students who do not access the course within 30 days of last access will be processed as incomplete. Any activity within the course will reset to the full 30 days time allotment.

Participants who are unable to complete a course may re-enroll at their convenience providing the course is still available.


Completion Requirements

The completion requirements for this course are:

  • complete the examination with a score of 80% or better - multiple attempts are permitted
  • submit the course survey

Upon submission of the final completion requirement, the participant will automatically be marked as completed and the course completion email will be sent out. The participant will have immediate access to the certificate.


Paraticipant Feedback

...It was interesting to learn the difference between shelter veterinary medicine versus what happens in private practice, especially since in shelters the focus is on the herd while in private practice the focus is on each individual animal.

...The practice I currently work at is highly involved with the care of animals at our local Humane Society. I feel this is a course our entire staff should at least consider taking.

...Novel and up-to-date information regarding disease threats within the shelter setting.

...I work for an SPCA. I appreciated the clarification of what is an SPCA, a rescue, and an animal control facility.

...I didn't get much shelter medicine education when I was in school so a lot of the information was interesting. I feel that if I ever did go into shelter medicine, this would be a good resource to re-visit.

...understanding why there are different vaccination protocols at shelters rather than in private practice.

...the additional resources available were most helpful. As a practitioner about to start shelter work it was nice to have a list of other resources for my questions outside the scope of this lecture.

...I found all of the content relevant and interesting and particularly found the delivery worked much better than most online courses. I found the short checks intermittently helpful and that the subjects were well talked around, not simply providing facts and figures. Overall an excellent short course that has peaked my interest in shelter medicine.

...The content was displayed in a clear and effective manner that helped with retention. I especially enjoyed how it cleared some common misconceptions about shelters.

...I liked some of the statistics provided for animal overpopulation rates and the five freedoms and all the tough decisions shelters are faced with every time an animal is there for intake. Also, the diseases and the vaccine schedules for shelter animals were useful.

...I work in a large scale animal shelter and I found this course to be very informative and make me rethink about all of our facilities protocols.

...Very knowledgeable information provided about the adoption protocol, the adoption policies, and the importance of Veterinary health evaluations upon the adoption. Great course!



Price: FREE