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Grant Helps Fund Spay/Neuter Initiatives

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Aims to reduce pet overpopulation in Tennessee

A Petco Foundation grant is helping the Shelter Medicine Program and Spay-Neuter Mobile Service at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine through a $10,000 grant. The service provides veterinary students hands-on experience in surgery and shelter medicine while providing assistance and advice to animal shelters, humane societies, community cat programs, and rescue groups in Knoxville and other east Tennessee counties.

The Spay-Neuter Mobile Service is a required, two-week medical rotation for each fourth-year veterinary student at the college. Funds from the grant are used to provide spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, exams, shelter evaluations, and additional medical services as necessary to support partner shelters and rescues in east Tennessee. The service only works with organizations that provide care for unowned animals.

Dr. Jennifer Weisent​, a clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine at the college, says the grant helped keep the spay-neuter mobile unit going during the pandemic. “The support from Petco Foundation has been crucial this past year as we train aspiring veterinarians in fundamental medical and surgical skills while exposing them to important issues of pet overpopulation and animal welfare in our region.” Weisent says the Shelter Medicine Program is grateful for the lifesaving support from the Petco Foundation.