Humane Society Alliance Education Program
Shelter Medicine
Caring for underserved animals

“Seattle Humane helped me to reinforce my medical knowledge and clinical skills, allowing considerable hands-on learning opportunities while I was there.”

—Krysta Dawson (’20 DVM)

What is Shelter Medicine?

Shelter medicine is a field of veterinary medicine dedicated to the care and wellbeing of un-homed animals and to finding them new homes.

The shelter medicine program at WSU provides veterinary students a learning opportunity in community-based, primary care facilities during their final year of the DVM degree program where they can have a positive effect on the health and behavior of shelter animals.  

Veterinary students can elect to spend two weeks at either Seattle Humane in Bellevue, Washington or the Idaho Humane Society in Boise, Idaho where they gain additional medical and surgical practice-ready skills, and specialty training such as dentistry, animal behavior, and emergency care.

The college also partners with other regional and local shelters to bring animals to WSU for spaying and neutering. The animals are then returned to the shelters for adoption.

Community Outreach

As part of the 2-week clinical rotation, veterinary students also have opportunities to serve in their shelter communities caring for animals that belong to pet owners in need.  

Questions about how to support shelter medicine or the One Health Clinic?  Contact Christie Cotterill at or (206) 219-2402.