Shelter Medicine Students

Penn Vet Shelter Medicine V19

Shelter Medicine V'19 team leaders: (from l to r) Michael Sahagian, Tanya Qiu, Linnea Tracy, Greg Sousa, Mindy Matter


V18 Shelter Medicine Team Leaders

Shelter Medicine V'18 team leaders: (from l to r) Kay Short, Kaitlin Zelman, Colleen Alvarez, Laura Zemanian, Hanum Wensil-Strow


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

Meet Our Students

Penn Vet Shelter Medicine Student Leaders

Beatriz Blanco, Shelter Medicine

Beatriz Blanco, V'17

  • Served as president of the Shelter Medicine Club.
  • Organized a volunteer trip to the Dominican Republic to help a local organization in their effort to control dog and cat overpopulation in rural areas around the capital.
  • Completed externships at shelters like DELCO, The Humane Society of Puerto Rico, and Humane Alliance.
  • Teaching veterinary students spay techniques at PAWS and ACCT through the Surgical Opportunities Program.

"This program has been one of the most important tools that PennVet has offered me as a student and continues to help me in my preparation as a veterinary professional."

Molly Klores, Shelter Medicine

Molly Klores, V'18
  • Paired with a medical student for an internship at Philadelphia FIGHT, an HIV/AIDS clinic and organization through Bridging the Gaps (BTG).
  • Worked with FIGHT to develop  educational initiatives and animal ownership guidelines for their immunocompromised patients who often heavily relied on their pets emotionally, yet were unsure if they could safely keep them due to zoonotic risk.

"BTG was an incredibly fulfilling experience in which I was able to understand the importance of educational outreach and interdisciplinary collaboration in one health initiatives.”

Michael Sahagian, Shelter Medicine


Michael Sahagian, V'19

  • Rosenthal Shelter Medicine Research Fellow
  • Junior Surgical Coordinator, Surgical Opportunities Program
"My passion for spay/neuter programs began in high school and being able to continue to give back and help lead the spay/neuter initiative here in Philadelphia means the world to me. I look forward to every Saturday and there isn’t any other place I’d rather be each weekend."
Laura Zemanian, Shelter Medicine

Laura Zemanian, V'18

  • Surgical Coordinator, Surgical Opportunities Program
  • Team Leader/Castration Captain at PAWS

"The Surgical Opportunities Program has taught me valuable surgical and clinical skills. Volunteering at PAWS and ACCT is the most rewarding experience and reminds me of why I want to be a veterinarian."