Category Archives: Event

Cornell’s Shelter Medicine Program provides spay/neuter services to community cats of CU employees & students


The dedication and care you give to the feral/barn cats of the Cornell community is absolutely outstanding. I truly value your work and dedication to the care of our cat colonies. The free spay/neuter service means the world to me and my cats. Thank you again.      

-Client, CornellVetCARES Community Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic

In April 2019, Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program (MSMP) at Cornell began to provide subsidized spay/neuter clinics for outdoor & community cats of Cornell faculty, staff, and students through our CornellVetCARES (CVC) Community Cat Spay/Neuter Clinics . These monthly clinics were made possible through a grant by Dr. Hollis Erb, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology. Since then, MSMP faculty and staff have organized and executed 12 spay/neuter clinics for community cats at Cornell’s Small Animal Community Practice Building located on Cornell’s Ithaca campus.

204 cats have been served by our clinics thus far. “I love it – The people that run the clinic were friendly. Informative, and very helpful. Thanks so much! I’m excited for NO MORE KITTENS – love them but don’t want any more!”, said one of our clients. Along with spay/neuter, we also provide routine vaccinations, ear mite and flea & tick checks and treatments (as necessary), and the option for ear tipping for feral and community cats.

Several Cornell veterinary students have also gained hands-on clinic experience while participating in these clinics, either as volunteers or while on Shelter Medicine Clinical Rotation with MSMP:

During the clinic, I helped facilitate the flow of cats through the clinic, from intake to anesthesia, and during surgery to discharge. I was also able to perform some surgeries (both spays and neuters).  I think it was great that people really wanted to bring us these cats to have them spayed or neutered. They were very appreciative of the services. The supervising veterinarians were great! I liked working with a great team of other students and vets, and I enjoyed getting to practice my surgical skills.

Lauren Alyssa Johnson (DVM ’20)

This was my first high-volume spay/neuter experience. I helped in recovery and made sure all cats safely recovered from anesthesia and received preventives and vaccines as necessary…. I learned that when recovering feral cats, it’s important to put them in their carrier early in recovery because they can become aggressive quickly and wake up very rapidly.

-Victoria Robertson (DVM ’20)

Clinics scheduled in March and April of 2020 were cancelled due to COVID-19. Clinics resumed in June and July 2020 with COVID-related guidelines and procedures in place. We just completed our 12 CornellVetCARES Community Clinic on August 21st, with 2 more clinics scheduled in September, October of 2020. We plan on offering similar clinics again next year under a new grant from the Feline Health Center.

All three of the cats I brought in are doing great. I truly appreciate this “gift” as I have exhausted my own ability to finance the spay/neuter of these community cats.

-Client, CVC Community Cat Spay/Neuter Clinics

Click here to learn more about our CornellVetCARES Community Cat Spay/Neuter Clinics.


ASPCA Cornell Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Conference to be held online in 2020


July 11-12, 2020 | All Online | Tuition Waived!

To bring you the critical, timely information you need in a safe way, this year’s conference will take place virtually from July 11-12, 2020, and registration fees will be waived. Featuring twelve free workshops in two tracks—medical and operations—the 2020 ASPCA® Cornell Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Conference is a unique educational opportunity for veterinarians and other animal welfare professionals to learn from our field of highly regarded speakers. Both RACE and CAWA CE approval is pending. Click here to learn more and register.

Highlights of this year’s conference include:

  • A high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter (HQHVSN) panel discussion featuring Drs Phil Bushby, Emily McCobb, Leslie Appel, and Karla Brestle
  • Epidemiological modeling of COVID-19 from Dr. Rachel Kreisler
  • Access to basic veterinary care and the impacts of COVID-19 from Dr. Brittany Watson
  • A panel discussion on COVID-19 response and what tactics to keep

Download agenda

And there are more benefits to attending, too:

  • Quick, easy, and free registration
  • An entirely virtual format, allowing more team members to attend from the comfort of their own homes—no stressful, long travel required!
  • The opportunity to learn from experts in their fields
  • Critical workshops geared towards COVID-19 response
  • Continuing education credits*

Register now!


UPDATED 5/11/2020 – Shelter Medicine CE and Networking: What to do if I can’t go to a conference this summer?

With HSUS Expo and the AVMA cancelling their in-person conferences, what are animal welfare veterinarians and veterinary technicians supposed to do to get the CE required to maintain their state licensure? Sites like VIN, Clinician’s Brief, Maddie’s University and ASPCApro often have single classes or webinars that provide RACE credits, but unless watched live, there is no opportunity to engage with the speaker or ask questions, and little opportunity to engage with friends.

Luckily, in an age of technology, upcoming animal welfare conferences are on-line in real time and provide RACE credit. Additionally, they provide opportunities for interaction and networking — enter the virtual cocktail/mocktail hour.

5/20-5/21/2020 Humane Canada’s National Animal Welfare Conference

This Wednesday-Thursday conference will be held online and everyone is welcome to attend. The conference includes break-out conversations and morning coffee hours with sponsors, and a host of speakers on a variety of topics from what to keep from the COVID response to First Nations dog programs to canine behavior and neonatal diarrhea. Featured speakers include Barbara Cartwright, Elisabeth Ormandy, Allan Corber, Alexandra Protopopova, and Jessica Dolce. Many lectures also count toward AAWA certification. Registration is CA$100, which includes a 30-day window to go back and watch any recorded content. All times listed are EST.

6/16-6/17/2020 AAWA’s Spring Conference for Animal Welfare

This Tuesday-Wednesday conference features a virtual exhibit hall, general sessions, four session tracks to choose from, and a new shelter medicine track in collaboration with the ASV. Topics include social media marketing, leading change, creating responsible pet ownership programs, and the science behind caring for neonates. Featured speakers include Sarah Wooten, Marty Becker, Julie Levy, Sandra Newbury, and Scott Weese. Registration fees vary according to your professional memberships and range from $99-$199. (ASV members can get $25 off two-day registration)

7/11-7/12/2020 ASPCA-Cornell-Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Conference

This annual Saturday-Sunday conference is going ahead as scheduled but switching to an on-line format. Two tracks (Staff/volunteer/management and Medical) will be offered. Speakers are just being invited and the schedule isn’t quite set, but this information will be available soon. Planned guests include Phil Bushby, Elizabeth Berliner and many others. Since this will be an on-line conference, registration this year will likely have no cap and may even be free of charge. Stay tuned!

7/31-8/4/2020 AVMA Convention Virtual Event?

Not much is currently available regarding this event and CE/networking opportunities. More details will be available in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more information!

Will there be in-person conferences in the fall? It’s still uncertain. In the meantime, we’ll try to keep you updated as we hear more. Good luck and keep learning!

July 2020: HSUS Expo Online  

Just announced, Humane Expo will also be going online in July of 2020. Although the dates have yet to be finalized, the cost of this conference has been reduced to just $29 dollars in honor of their 29th anniversary. We’ll update this post when we know more.

Event recap: Our 1st shelter medicine mini-conference was a success!

Our 1st biannual shelter medicine mini-conference was a success! On the afternoon of Friday, November 22nd, the 2019 Fall Cornell Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Mini-Conference took place at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York. Organized by Sarah Nickerson, MSMP’s Program Coordinator, this half-day workshop brought together over 40 staff members and volunteers from 12 different regional shelters to discuss “Sheltering by Numbers: Using Metrics to Save Lives”.

Shelter Medicine faculty, along with MSMP Program Founder, Dr. Jan Scarlett, each led 45-minute presentations on different topics relating to metrics and the use of data in shelters. Dr. Berliner (Director of Shelter Medicine) opened the workshop with a presentation on the importance of one day in the shelter for an animal, and ways to move them through shelters faster while still ensuring they have all they need in the process. Next, Dr. Lena DeTar (Assistant Clinical Professor) guided attendees through simple formulas to identify where shelters might be stretched (staffing, surgical budget, capacity for care, etc.) or have the ability to provide more. Dr. Jan Scarlett (Founder of Cornell’s Shelter Medicine Program) followed Dr. DeTar, sharing her knowledge of what reports matter in the shelter setting, and why they matter. She focused on metrics that can be most influential in monitoring and helping to improve the health of shelter animals. To wrap up the afternoon, our newest faculty member, Dr. Erin Henry (Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Instructor), talked about the importance of organizational charts, getting attendees up on their feet to create and describe the org charts for each of their organizations. As can be seen in the photo below, this was a crowd favorite with personnel from each organization working together to map out the structure of each of their organizations. Way to go Team MSMP at Cornell!

Attendees of the 2019 fall Cornell Maddie's Shelter Medicine Mini-Conference work together to create their org charts.
Attendees of the 2019 Fall Cornell Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Mini-Conference work together to create their org charts.

Our 2nd mini-conference is scheduled to take place in the Spring, on April 3rd, 2020. Be sure to save the date! We will be discussing adoption outcomes. Registration for this event will open in early March. If you would like to be added to the CU Shelter Med Mini-Conference mailing list, please email Sarah Nickerson (Shelter Medicine Program Coordinator) at

(Story and photos provided by Sarah Nickerson)