Spotlight on a School

HSVMA applauds veterinary schools that are breaking the mold to enhance student education and improve the welfare of animals. The schools highlighted below are embracing technology, responding to the needs of their communities, and giving students a competitive edge when it comes to skill development.

We update this page regularly, but if you know about a welfare-minded school program we should celebrate, please contact us!

Priority for Paws
Purdue University Program a Win for Students and the Shelters

Like many other veterinary schools, Purdue has a surgery rotation for fourth year DVM students. Another way the students get their surgical experience is with the highly sought after fourth year shelter medicine elective. A student who chooses this 3-week rotation spends 2 weeks of it on the Priority for Paws mobile unit. They travel to different shelters within a 2-hour drive from West Lafayette, which is where the college is located, and perform spays and neuters on those shelter pets free of charge. On average, a student can leave this rotation having done up to 70 surgeries thanks to this program. Often, this experience not only improves the surgery skill of the student but also their confidence. Students may feel unprepared in certain aspects of surgery because of lack of exposure. Being able to participate in this program significantly changes that.

Dr. Fellenstein, who is the head clinician and professor of record for all the shelter medicine courses, received an e-mail from Kelly Ray, a recent graduate, who stated “It was sincerely one of the most helpful rotations to starting my career. Just know that I think of you often and you really are making a huge impact in our careers”. Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is well known for having a wonderful program that produces amazing veterinarians. However, not too many know about their Shelter Medicine Rotation which includes the Priority for Paws, a mobile surgery unit. This unit simultaneously helps the community while improving the surgical skills of future veterinarians. Keep reading»

Past Highlights


University of Florida
Louisiana State University
Mississippi State University
Oklahoma State University