PAWS Chicago News item | PAWS Chicago

Maddie’s Fund Awards Generous Grant to Purdue University & PAWS Chicago

by Pam Carey | Nov 01, 2008

Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with PAWS Chicago, has been selected as a recipient of a Maddie’s Fund Comprehensive Shelter Medicine Program Grant.

In September of 2008, the first three years of Purdue’s Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program was funded in the amount of $1.1 million. Should the Program meet expectations, another $1.2 million will be given in 2011, bringing the total grant to $2.3 million. This is one of the largest Shelter Medicine Programs funded by Maddie’s since its inception. 

As a result of this program, Purdue will be able to dramatically expand its shelter medicine educational program and PAWS Chicago will benefit from significantly increased medical and behavioral resources at the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic, the Admissions & Recovery Center and the Pippen Fasseas Adoption Center. Purdue veterinary students, veterinary technology students and graduate students will support the PAWS Chicago team in all aspects of the organization’s medical and behavioral operations. This involves working on the full spectrum of activities at the fast-paced, high-volume environment of the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic, including the initial exam, surgical prep, spay/neuter surgery and recovery. The students will also be a valuable resource to PAWS Chicago’s adoption program, assisting with the initial health assessments and exams, vaccinations, micro-chipping, diagnostic testing, and the daily care of the many sick and injured animals that are part of the adoption program. 

Research initiatives will focus on minimizing the spread of disease in a shelter environment; how to prevent and/or shorten the recovery times for common shelter illnesses through innovations in technology, medical protocols and disease prevention; and the prevention of the deterioration of behavior that is sometimes seen in a shelter environment. 

There are three principal objectives of the Purdue University program: 1) to educate and train future leaders in the field of Shelter Medicine, 2) to conduct research in the areas of Shelter Medicine and Pet Homelessness, and 3) to develop leadership in public education, dissemination of information and continuing education in Shelter Medicine.

When asked why they chose PAWS Chicago as a partner to collaborate with on this grant, Annette Litster, Director of the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue responded: “PAWS Chicago is a wonderful example of what can be done when dedicated and smart people work together to achieve something that they are passionate about. The facilities at both the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic and the Pippen Fasseas Adoption Center are state-of-the-art and they set a new benchmark for what can be achieved for pets in a shelter environment. These factors make PAWS an ideal learning environment for our students and I feel there is a real meeting of minds between PAWS and Purdue regarding the importance of our work and the areas we need to pursue to help improve the lives of shelter pets all over the USA.” 

Maddie’s Fund is a family foundation funded by Workday and PeopleSoft Founder David Duffield and his wife, Cheryl. Maddie’s Fund is helping to create a No Kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. To achieve this goal, Maddie’s Fund is investing its resources in building community collaborations where animal welfare organizations come together to develop successful models of lifesaving; in veterinary colleges to help shelter medicine become part of the veterinary curriculum; in private practice veterinarians to encourage greater participation in the animal welfare cause; and in the implementation of national strategies to collect and report shelter statistics. Maddie’s Fund is named after the family’s beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997.

Purdue University is one of the top Veterinary Schools in the country, and is one of only two educational programs in North America that integrates the education of the veterinarian health care teams by training both veterinary technicians and veterinarians and incorporates animal behavior. This comprehensive team approach is ideally suited to advancing shelter medicine in this relatively new field. PAWS Chicago is looking forward to working with and proud to be partnering with Maddie’s Fund and Purdue University in shaping, positively influencing and setting a new standard for the future of Shelter Medicine. 

Laurie Peek, DVM, Maddie’s Fund Veterinary Program Director is excited to see the results from this new partnership. “The wealth of new knowledge that will result from the collaboration of Purdue University and PAWS Chicago is incredibly exciting. We are glad to be able to bring these outstanding organizations together to advance shelter medicine for the benefit of homeless pets throughout the nation.”

Some of the expected outcomes of the Purdue University program include:

• Two Maddie’s PhD Students in Shelter-Based Population Medicine. These positions will result in two PhD theses with associated journal publications and potential contributions to national animal welfare policy development. 

• Two Maddie’s Animal Behavior Residents who will develop and publish uniform animal behavior guidelines to maximize shelter animal welfare and adoptability. Part of their research will be conducted at PAWS Chicago’s Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic, Admissions & Recovery Center and Pippen Fasseas Adoption Center. 

• Maddie’s Post-DVM Fellows in Shelter Medicine – one-year fellowship positions. These training positions will enable experienced veterinarians to go out into the shelter community and advance the standards of medicine and animal welfare practiced in shelters throughout the USA. Nine months of the year long fellowship will be spent at PAWS Chicago. 

• Fourth year veterinary students and second or third year veterinary technology students from Purdue will be given the opportunity to pursue a clinical rotation in shelter medicine at either PAWS Chicago or the Humane Society of Indianapolis. These opportunities for hands-on experience in state-of-the-art shelter environments have the potential to inspire and inform veterinary students and veterinary technology students at a critical stage in their professional education. 

• Veterinary students will be given the opportunity to participate in Maddie’s summer research experience. This experience is designed to stimulate and encourage future leaders in shelter medicine research.