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HSVMA Presents Grant to University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine for Surgery Training

Program saves hundreds of animals in local shelters

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association has joined with the Florida-based Kislak Family Fund to present a $25,000 grant to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine for a surgical training program that benefits injured and ill shelter animals.

The innovative UF surgical training program, known as Helping Alachua’s Animals Requiring Treatment and Surgery, is one of only two programs in the country that provides a variety of surgical training opportunities for veterinary students while also providing care for shelter animals.

“The HAARTS program is a perfect example of animal-welfare-friendly surgery training,” said Dr. Susan Krebsbach, an HSVMA veterinary consultant who presented the grant to the university on Monday. “It’s a win-win situation because the students get enhanced training opportunities and injured and ill animals receive necessary medical care.”

Types of procedures performed include fracture repair, mass removal, cystotomy and tooth extractions, among other procedures. Animals accepted into the program come from Alachua County animal rescue groups and the county animal shelter.

“The HAARTS program has provided invaluable experience to veterinary students by exposing them to surgical techniques they will commonly see in veterinary practice,” said Dr. Natalie Isaza, who oversees the HAARTS program and accepted the grant on Monday. “Just as importantly, the program has helped save the lives of more than 200 animals in our community who most likely would have been euthanized due to lack of resources to pay for their care.”

Background

  • The HSVMA and the Kislak Family Fund joined with The Humane Society of the United States in 2008 to provide $40,000 to help initiate the HAARTS program, after Dr. Paula Kislak, a 1984 alumna of the UF CVM consulted with interested students and faculty. An additional $30,000 was donated in 2009.
  • HSVMA provided the three-year grant funding for HAARTS because the program is considered a model for humane veterinary training.

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The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States.