In-Shelter Medical and Surgical Services

In Shelter Clinical Care

Penn Vet has long been known as a provider of compassionate care and clinical expertise. In that tradition, the School established the Penn Vet Shelter Medicine program in 2006 to provide clinical support to regional shelters and the community of the Greater Philadelphia Region.

The Penn Vet Shelter Medicine program serves a diverse urban community with a variety of open intake and limited admission shelters in the Philadelphia area.

These also represent all different formats, missions, intakes, and facilities to give Penn Vet students a more realistic and functional knowledge of the shelter world.

Contact Shelter Medicine

Dr. Brittany Watson, Shelter Medicine 

Brittany Watson, VMD, PhD
Director, Shelter Medicine & Community Engagement
Email: brittawa@vet.upenn.edu
Phone: 215-898-8341

More Than an Education

In addition to student education, Penn Vet delivers consultative, educational, and veterinary support to local Students in Shelter Medicineshelters, making an impact on how many homeless animals are given quality care and placed into permanent homes. As the only veterinary school in an urban setting with a population of 6.1 million (Philadelphia metropolitan area) and a thriving relationship with major shelters and low-cost care organizations, Penn Vet offers a profound opportunity to integrate clinical teaching, service and outreach to the animal welfare community to systematically address shelter overpopulation issues.

In addition to surgical care, Penn Vet students also play a crucial role in providing individual medical care and helping shelters address population levels and health.

  • At ACCT Philly (Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia) students perform spay and neuter procedures, assist with other procedures, perform exams on veterinary flagged animals, help with foster rechecks, do staff continuing education presentations and intake processing.
  • Providence Animal Center offers specialty surgery experience including emergencies and dental procedures.
  • At Spayed Club students perform spay and neuter surgery on Pets for Life clients in a humane alliance high quality high volume clinic setting.
  • At PAWS, Penn Vet students have public health rounds and tour their facilities.
  • Students learn about humane law enforcement at the Pennsylvania SCPA (PSPCA) and meet with veterinarians, animal control officers, lawyers and forensic technicians. Future projects include research with the PSCPA clinic and behavior programs including a multidisciplinary project based on enrichment and stress in the shelter setting.
  • At Morris Animal Refuge (MAR), one of the oldest shelters in the country founded in 1874, students do medical walkthroughs and exams and discuss shelter standards and implementing them in the real-world.
  • Philly Unleashed teaches students about behavior evaluations, training, enrichment, and socialization by active student participation at the Women’s Humane Society.

Check out our partners in outreach...