Shelter Medicine Program at Illinois



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  • (217) 778-PETS / (217) 778-7387

Parent Program(s):

  • College of Veterinary Medicine



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Tremendous growth in grass-roots sheltering efforts over the past several decades has saved the lives of millions of homeless companion animals. Meanwhile, the science and body of knowledge involved with shelter medicine has progressed to the point where the discipline is now recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, with the first certifying examination in 2015.

The goal of the Shelter Medicine Program at Illinois is to develop a talented pool of veterinary graduates who are well-versed in the tools available to improve the care of shelter animals and help reduce animal overpopulation. The program is actively engaged in the teaching, outreach, and research missions of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Illinois.


The Shelter Medicine Program at Illinois makes a significant impact on the lives of animals in central Illinois. We have experienced rapid growth in the number and locations for sterilization procedures. We spay and neuter shelter animals and owned animals brought to rural shelters that offer low-cost sterilization programs to people who cannot afford to have their animals sterilized. We also offer weekend community sterilization clinics for feral and free-roaming cats.

As we help people with limited resources get their animals sterilized, we also educate these owners about proper health care for their pets and suggest that they follow up with a local veterinary practice for continued care and booster vaccinations. More than eighty percent of the animals we see have never been to a veterinarian, so this work presents an opportunity to educate owners about proper health care for their pets.

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