Core Content in Shelter Medicine Program

The Shelter Medicine Program at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is committed to raising awareness about the needs of shelter animals and the sheltering community among all veterinarians. Therefore part of our program includes elements of the core veterinary curriculum which is required for all veterinary students.

DVM Core Content

Human-Animal Relations
Survey course for first-year veterinary students
Two hour lecture/discussion: Introduction to Shelter Medicine and the Veterinarian’s Role in Shelters
Two hour lecture/discussion on associations between human and animal victims of violence
Problem Based Learning
Veterinary Medicine and the Law
Course for second-year veterinary students
Two hour lecture on animal cruelty laws, the role of human law enforcement and how to report animal abuse
Ethics in Veterinary Medicine
Semester long course for third-year veterinary students
Two hour lecture including Trap-Neuter-Return controversy from wildlife perspective
Two hour lecture on rescue puppy transport and regulation
Two hour lecture/discussion on ethical issues in shelter medicine
Two hour lecture discussion on the ethics of reporting animal cruelty
Euthanasia Seminar
Eight hour seminar for third-year veterinary students
One hour lecture on euthanasia in shelter setting. In this lecture students learn how shelter euthanasia can differ from private practice euthanasia as well as the current best practice protocols for euthanasia within a shelter setting.

Master of Science in Animals and Public Policy Core Content

The companion animal module of the core class Animals and Society examines issues surrounding pet ownership, our responsibilities towards homeless animals, the way that humans have manipulated animals through selective breeding, and the use of animals in sports and hobbies. The course includes an in-depth look at the history of pet overpopulation and how it affects animal shelter policy today, as well as policy considerations that address causes and solutions to pet overpopulation.