Two vets care for a healthy pup

Give Shelter

The Shelter Medicine Program is a national leader — but it wouldn’t be at UW–Madison without the assistance of private support.

“My position is one of the only positions that’s funded by the university,” says program director Sandra Newbury DVM’03. “The rest of the program is funded through donations.”

Deep commitment to the program by Dean Mark D. Markel, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the university impressed philanthropic partners. Because the university was supporting the primary faculty position, foundations and donors stepped in to offer additional support. Almost instantly, the UW’s Shelter Medicine Program became one of the most respected in the country. Jeff ’83 and Sara ’85 Wiesner, who had previously supported the program through a scholarship, established a shelter medicine endowment, making the UW program one of only a handful in the country with this type of support. After Newbury was hired, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) invited the UW to apply for a grant to help establish a shelter medicine outreach program that, today, is national and international in scope. UW Shelter Medicine is honored to work in strategic partnership with MACP in its animal welfare funding. Maddie’s Fund, a family foundation, has funded the program’s educational branch and outbreak response work, supporting fellowships, internships, residencies, and a shelter medicine rotation for veterinary medical students.

With this financial help, the UW program has been able to train the next generation of shelter medicine veterinarians and leaders and is able to help shelters around the country face disease outbreaks. “That’s one of the most important things I think we do as a program is really offer sound diagnostic testing and interpretation to animal shelters,” says Newbury.

The program, Newbury notes, “has really been an amazing philanthropic partnership.”