Kansas State - Going Mobile
Post date: Jun 17, 2015 9:56:03 PM
Kansas State - Going Mobile
Veterinary medicine students at Kansas State University are going mobile. On April 13, the college dedicated its brand new Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit, and their services began at the beginning of May. The Department of Clinical Sciences recently purchased the mobile surgical unit to allow students and faculty to perform on- site, pre-adoption spay/neuter procedures and provide medical care to enhance the health and adoptability of shelter animals. Agreements have already been established to provide services for non-profit and municipal animal shelter organizations in Manhattan, Junction City, Ottawa, Emporia, Topeka, Lawrence, Salina and Clay Center.
The Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit was made possible by a very generous donation from Cheryl Mellenthin, Cat Spring, Texas. Cheryl dedicated her donation to two people who are very important to the College of Veterinary Medicine Family: the late Chris Gruber, director of development, and her late husband, Mark Chapman.
"We believe students will develop a strong appreciation for the magnitude of the homeless pet population and will be prepared to volunteer and advocate for shelters in their communities after graduation," said Dr. Crauer
The mobile surgical unit complements the college’s shelter medicine program, which is a service learning course for fourth- year veterinary students to get hands-on experience under the supervision of a shelter medicine faculty member. Most shelter organizations in Kansas do not have a veterinarian on staff nor do they have on-site surgical facilities. The success of the program is dependent on developing strong, sustainable relationships with regional shelters. Sixty-six students from the class of 2016 (fourth-year students) are currently scheduled to complete this elective two-week rotation. “We believe students will develop a strong appreciation for the magnitude of the homeless pet population and will be prepared to volunteer and advocate for shelters in their communities after graduation,” said Dr. Brad Crauer, an assistant professor who was recently hired to direct the shelter medicine program. In addition to individual animal care, Dr. Crauer also provides consultation services for regional shelters on a wide range of topics that include infectious disease control, population management and resource allocation.
The first rotation for providing service to regional shelters began on May 11th and the program will run year around. These students are projected to perform 2,800 to 3,500 spay/neuter procedures in the first year with each student averaging fifty surgical experiences. “This significantly improves the skills and confidence of students taking the Shelter Medicine Rotation. This makes them more practice ready at graduation,” said Dr. Crauer.
The program will have a significant impact for animal shelters and rescues in the region. The K-State Shelter Medicine Program is providing surgery and consultation services free of charge. Resources that an organization had been dedicating to spay/neuter can now be allocated elsewhere. “The goal is to support shelters and rescues with their mission, help raise the level of care across region and save more lives,” said Dr. Crauer. Communities participating in the shelter-medicine program are encouraged to look for a large purple vehicle that says, “Future Vets Helping Future Pets.”