The Shelter Medicine Program launched with the intention of producing veterinary graduates who have the necessary tools and knowledge to care for shelter animals and contribute to efforts that reduce animal overpopulation. Students who participate in the program receive experience in shelter medicine through a series of rotations at local clinics. First- and second-year students complete weeklong rotations, and fourth-year students engaged in the basic shelter medicine rotation will spend two weeks at rural shelters such as the Champaign County Humane Society.
Through partnerships with the community, the Shelter Medicine Program also engages in outreach for pet overpopulation and research on pet health. The program performs spay and neuter procedures for low-cost clinics and operates sterilization clinics for feral and free-roaming cats on weekends. Research projects primarily focus on the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases in pets.