Key Domains of the Shelter Medicine Curriculum

Based on a model shelter medicine curriculum created by the Association for Shelter Veterinarians, the Shelter Medicine Steering Committee has created the following key domains. These topics represent key areas of study and emphasis for veterinarians involved in caring for animals in shelters or other populations.

Infectious Disease Pathogenesis and Prevention
Quarantine Procedures
Diagnosis and Treatment
Preventative Care
Vaccinations: General Principles
Principles of Herd and Maternal Immunity
Prophylactic Regimes
Outbreak Investigation and Response
Population Management
Capacity for Care
Statistics to Assess Impacts of Policy
Reproductive Control and Surgical Expertise
High-volume/High-quality Spay/Neuter Techniques
Prepubertal Sterilization
Feral Cat Sterilization
Understanding of Developments in Immunocontraception and Chemical Contraception
Animal Behavior
General Principles
Treatment Plans
Temperament Testing
Problems with Housing
Technical Aspects
Grief Counseling
Compassion Fatigue
Ethical, Legal and Policy Aspects
Legal and Policy Issues
Anti-cruelty Laws
National Statutes
Evidence and Forensics
Animal Welfare and Rights
History and Philosophy of Animal Shelters
Understanding of Different Shelter Models
Adoption Programs
Role of Rescues
Resources for Personnel
Shelter Management Software
Public Relations
Welfare in the Shelter Environment
Role of Quality of Life
Welfare Assessments for Shelters and Sanctuaries
Business and Leadership
Understanding Organizational Structure of Non-profits versus For-profit Businesses
Understanding Budgeting
Public Health
Rabies and Other Zoonotic Diseases
Animal-inflicted Injuries
Education and Outreach
Nuisance Wildlife Management
Animal Hoarding
Disaster Planning
Humane Education
Community Education about Pet Ownership, Preventative Health Care, Population Control and Zoonotic Diseases