PetSmart Charities® Funds Veterinary Schools’ Spay/Neuter Programs

Innovative surgical rotations prepare next generation of veterinarians

Cat spay/neuter surgeryStudents work hard for years to reach veterinary school. By the time they graduate, in many ways, they are well qualified to practice veterinary medicine.

But at some schools, students complete fewer than 10 spay/neuter surgeries — in some cases, only 2 or 3 — yet spay/neuter is one of the most common procedures veterinarians perform. Often, graduates have little or no experience in spay/neuter surgeries on pets younger than 5 months old. And we know spaying or neutering is the best way to fight overpopulation and reduce the number of pets in shelters.

PetSmart Charities is committed to funding hands-on spay/neuter training — especially early-age — that will strengthen veterinary students’ skills and confidence.

Why we fund veterinary colleges

Spay/neuter clinics need highly skilled veterinarians. We can help fill that need by supporting veterinary colleges as they increase their spay/neuter training. It’s a significant part of PetSmart Charities’ strategy.

Another reason? Kittens and puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as 2 pounds, or 2 months old, but not all veterinarians perform the surgery on young pets. The veterinary school programs we fund must include early-age spaying and neutering, where the surgery is done on pets who are 5 months old or younger. With the help of our funding, students learn how to complete these delicate surgeries safely and it becomes part of their routine. We’re helping to teach the new generation of veterinarians how to fight overpopulation right from the start.

It doesn’t end there. The veterinary programs we fund perform surgeries on pets before they’re adopted, which makes those pets more attractive to potential adopters. The students’ surgeries help adoption organizations to save even more pets.

Veterinarians practicing spay/neuter surgeryWhere the grant money goes

Since 2011, PetSmart Charities has funded 13 programs — nearly half of the veterinary schools in the U.S.

We provide grants from $20,000 up to $250,000 for start-up and ongoing operational costs. The funds can help a school buy surgical equipment — even a mobile spay/neuter clinic — and pay for the instructor, staff and surgical supplies. Successful programs may apply for renewed support.

Earning respect and advancing reputations

Funding veterinary college programs is win-win-win-win: for the students, the profession, the college and the community.

The students gain surgical experience that helps them build competency in early-age spay/neuter surgery. Participating in a rotation also gives them a chance to see the impact they can have on adoptable pets’ lives.

The profession adds a class of new veterinarians who are more prepared to practice good veterinary medicine, maintain safety and bring efficient processes to their surgeries. Well-prepared doctors earn respect and boost the reputation of all veterinarians.

In turning out highly skilled, qualified graduates, the college improves its competitive advantage in the field. Successful graduates help boost their school’s reputation throughout their careers.

Contributing to the well-being of communities…and their pets

The community might be the biggest winner of all. Teaching early-age spay/neuter skills during veterinary school means more veterinarians are ready to sterilize kittens and puppies, preventing unplanned litters and helping to fight overpopulation at its source. 

Working in any shelter environment, students also will learn about issues in animal welfare that affect their community. They may consider a career in spay/neuter or shelter medicine. In many cases, students volunteer their time after graduation, giving back to the community where they built their confidence and honed their skills.

In the programs PetSmart Charities funds, most of the pets students spay or neuter are adoptable pets. Our support not only helps the next generation of veterinarians become better prepared to save lives, the training itself saves lives.

Watch this space

You can examine the 4 models PetSmart Charities already funds in these veterinary colleges:

PetSmart Charities has provided support for clinical training in spay/neuter surgery at the colleges of veterinary medicine at 13 universities:

  • Kansas State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Midwestern University
  • Mississippi State University        
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Texas A&M University                  
  • Tufts University        
  • University of California
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois  
  • University of Minnesota        
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Tennessee   
  • University of Missouri
  • Washington State University 
  • Western University of Health Sciences

Your donations help us support lifesaving programs like our funding for veterinary colleges. Make a difference with us today.


Want heartwarming adoption stories delivered daily? Connect with us on social media.

You can share your story, too!