Community Outreach

dog and kittens

Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine teams up with area shelters and rescues to provide free wellness and spay/neuter care for shelter and rescue animals in the college's hospital facilities. Participating shelters and rescues bring their new animals to Iowa State where 3rd year veterinary students, under the supervision of clinicians, provide medical assessments and preventive care, as well as spay/neuter surgeries as part of their Surgical Education Program.

The program provides students the opportunity to learn about canine and feline preventive care for all life cycles including vaccines and parasite treatment, prevention and productions. This has a significant impact on preparing students for their fourth year clinical rotations and life as a veterinarian. 

Program Highlights

  • Almost 600 dogs and cats were provided medical care during the 2016-17 academic year
  • More than 20 Iowa shelters participated in the Community Outreach Program 
  • Upon returning to the shelters, these animals were ready for adoption
  • Community Outreach Program receives $100,000 grant from PetSmart Charities

"The Junior Surgery and Community Outreach Program helped me gain confidence, valuable experience and reminded me why I was willing to go to four more years of college to be a veterinarian. I gained my first real doctor-like experience due to this program, when one of my patients didn't recover well from anesthesia and surgery. I took care of my cold, depressed, trembling patient throughout the night. It allowed me to see first-hand how my efforts made a real impact on her recovery. The experience greatly improved my confidence in my own abilities to problem solve and treat patients. It is extremely gratifying to know that she is now healthy and happily adopted.


Hilary Opdahl
Class of 2018

Learn more about the program

Contact us

Thank you to our industry sponsors who have provided assistance for the program

  • PetSmart Charities
  • Bayer Animal Health
  • Merial
  • Zoetis
  • Ceva Animal Health
  • IDEXX Laboratories
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedia, Inc.
  • Purina
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