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

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Meet Our Students

Penn Vet Shelter Medicine Student Leaders
Charlotte Burns, V'19, Penn Vet

Charlotte Burns, V'19

    I am originally from Sicklerville, New Jersey. I chose to be involved in shelter medicine because it teaches you how to work in stressful environments, to adapt to new situations, and to be creative. My current projects include a retrospective study on outpatient treatment of canine parvo virus and a retrospective study on the relationship between feline handling and the prevalence of upper respiratory infections in the shelter.


Tianna Chin, V'21

    I am from New York and my interest in shelter medicine peaked when I volunteered at the ASPCA as a veterinary assistant. From there, I volunteered at various rescues and Animal Care & Control. I love how shelter medicine sometimes incorporates exotic medicine, which is also a huge passion of mine. Shelter medicine has always had a unique place in my heart and I think it perfectly fulfills all aspects of the veterinary oath. 


Tabitha Stillo, V'20

    I am from West Caldwell, NJ and even as a young child I took animals in until they were strong enough to find a permanent home. I found passion in helping animals who are most in need through shelter medicine, but this profession also speaks to me because of the immense impact it can make on the community through the human-animal bond. When dogs are surrendered to a shelter, they are exposed to stress that can increase disease susceptibility and impair welfare, among many other negative consequences. As a Rosenthal Shelter Medicine Fellow, I will be working with the Women’s Humane Society to determine the effect of the behavioral supplement, Solliquin, for appeasement of acute stress. We will be monitoring stress by measuring fecal cortisol (a stress hormone) and tracking the dogs’ activity via activity collars.


Dani Mitchell, V'20

    I grew up in Connecticut, but I now consider Philadelphia to be my home. Part of what draws me to shelter medicine is working with the communities and animals that need help the most. I also like the challenge of doing the most good with limited resources. In my research study, I will look at the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis infection in cats. Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease that poses a risk to both human and animal health. Cats will be monitored with weekly blood draws and fecal screens to determine if single housing in a shelter setting is sufficient to prevent the spread of toxoplasmosis between animals.