Tag Archive: veterinary

  1. Face of the Movement: Adam Corbett, DVM

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    Dr. CorbettAdam Corbett, DVM, always wanted to be a veterinarian. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 and is now head of surgery at the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA). A vocal supporter of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), Dr. Corbett collaborates with Alley Cat Allies to advocate for policies that support this humane and effective program.

    Q. How did you become so involved with Trap-Neuter-Return?

    A. As a shelter veterinarian, and especially spay/neuter surgeon, TNR is part of my everyday life. Spay/neuter programs have long worked to help not just indoor pets and their owners, but also community cats and their caregivers. We understand that pet cats, shelter cats, and feral cats are a fluid and connected population, and we must address all these sub-populations. In all the spay/neuter clinics I’ve worked with, feral cat caregivers have been a significant portion of our clientele.

    I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the people and cats that make up a thriving TNR community, and I’ve spent a lot of time educating myself on the best way that we can address the health of our dog and cat populations and allow shelters to be as effective as possible.

    As organizations and municipalities look to figure out ways to best address feral cats, it’s important that those of us who are most familiar with these issues speak up. My veterinary background can sometimes bring a different perspective to those looking to understand this issue. The Pennsylvania SPCA is not only a shelter and humane law enforcement organization, but also an advocate for animals. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use the knowledge I have about TNR and my position with the PSPCA to speak up for cats and TNR programs.

    Q. A veterinarian’s involvement can make or break a TNR program—what would you say to veterinarians who are on the fence about getting involved?

    A. I’d remind them of why we all became veterinarians in the first place: to help animals and the people who care for them. We can participate in reducing the number of cats in shelters, finding homes, improving the lives of outdoor cats, and saving lives. For veterinarians interested in improving their skills and knowledge, I’d remind them of how often surgeons involved with TNR programs are at the forefront of new medical and surgical techniques. Multimodal anesthesia/analgesia (smaller doses of multiple drugs to induce sedation and pain control) is a technique long favored by spay/neuter and TNR clinics, and is now considered the best quality of care. Many safer, faster, more effective surgical skills have been developed in the pursuit of helping to efficiently alter more animals. Finally, I’d remind them of the benefits to our community at large. Strong TNR programs lead to healthier cat populations for everyone in our community, including our own pets. When we help out TNR programs, we’re contributing to good health practices for people and animals.

    Q. Tell me about a cat whose story has stuck with you. Feel free to share more than one story!

    A. I think one of the stories that really impacted me was that of Prince. He was an old black cat found by a TNR participant and brought into the shelter. Unlike most adult cats in this program, he was not feral and was very friendly. After we diagnosed him with diabetes, we decided to find him an indoor home since he needed special care.

    I reached out to an organization in New York that had been very effective at organizing “Seniors for Seniors” programs, and they brought him to an event where he was adopted by a wonderful woman who had dealt with diabetes with her late husband, and was thrilled to adopt Prince and care for him. She kept in touch, sending us pictures of Prince at the holidays, and even a lovely note when he passed away a couple years later.

    Prince had such a wonderful ending to what was initially such a challenging beginning. As a spay/neuter vet, I don’t often get to follow my cases through. I see my patients once, usually, on what may be the most stressful day of their lives. But I know that I’m helping their lives from that point out. Sometimes, something special will stick out—an injured outdoor cat who gets a tail amputation and will be placed in a good home. A cat found with a microchip reunited with her owner. A litter of kittens being given funny names and going into foster care with a family whose kids are learning how they can help. But mostly, I know I’m helping in ways I’ll never be able to see or tell stories about.

    Q. What do you hope to see in the future of the Trap-Neuter-Return-Movement as more municipalities and more veterinarians get on board?

    A. What I’d really like to see is a more collaborative, holistic way of addressing the issue.  We’re more effective when we all work together. I feel like in the past, veterinarians were sort of detached from shelters, and animal control didn’t work with rescues, and advocacy groups didn’t necessarily connect with the people on the street. More and more, I see groups and individuals working together to figure out the best solutions. We all have our part to play in helping cats. I know I’m not going to be the best person to go out trapping, but hopefully I can get the surgeries done as quickly and safely as possible. Someone else might not be great at making sure legislation makes sense, but they’ll know how to reach out to the dedicated cat caregivers. I think as we all work together, more people will get involved, and TNR will become more known and better understood. Feral cat experts will be at the front lines of public health, and anyone who sees a cat outside will understand they have a resource they can go to, so they can learn and they can help. TNR should be the norm, not a mystery—I still have friends who know what I do, but call it “T&R!” As I correct them, I have to point out—you’re missing my whole part in this!

    Q. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!

    A. As a veterinarian, I dread this question, because… no! People are horrified, but I feel very strongly that a good owner should be able to devote the right amount of time and energy to their pets. My work schedule and extracurricular activities (I perform in a lot of community theater) limit the time I spend at home. So I satisfy myself by working with wonderful animals all day long, and in being the favorite uncle of all my friends’ pets.

    Thank you for your time, and for everything you do to help cats.

    I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. I’ve loved getting to work alongside Alley Cat Allies and learning more about the impact we can have outside of our shelters and our communities. I love that I’m working in a time when veterinarians really are part of this community. I know we have so much to offer, and I think vets, shelters, and advocates all can learn from each other. Working together we can accomplish so much more than we can separately.

     

  2. Does TNR Make You a Better Veterinarian?

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    An Interview with Shelter Veterinarian Adam Corbett, DVM
    adam_corbett
    Adam Corbett, DVM, always wanted to be a veterinarian. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 and is now head of surgery at the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA). A vocal supporter of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), Dr. Corbett collaborates with Alley Cat Allies to advocate for policies that support this humane and effective program.

    We spoke to Dr. Corbett recently about his involvement with TNR.

    Q. How did you become so involved with Trap-Neuter-Return?

    A. As a shelter veterinarian, and especially spay/neuter surgeon, TNR is part of my everyday life. Spay/neuter programs have long worked to help not just indoor pets and their owners, but also community cats and their caregivers. We understand that pet cats, shelter cats, and feral cats are a fluid and connected population, and we must address all these sub-populations. In all the spay/neuter clinics I’ve worked with, feral cat caregivers have been a significant portion of our clientele.

    I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the people and cats who make up a thriving TNR community, and I’ve spent a lot of time educating myself on the best way that we can address the health of our cat and dog populations and allow shelters to be as effective as possible.

    As organizations and municipalities look to figure out ways to best address feral cats, it’s important that those of us who are most familiar with these issues speak up. My veterinary background can sometimes bring a different perspective to those looking to understand this issue. The Pennsylvania SPCA is not only a shelter and humane law enforcement organization, but also an advocate for animals. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use the knowledge I have about TNR and my position with the PSPCA to speak up for cats and TNR programs.

    Q. A veterinarian’s involvement can make or break a TNR program—what would you say to vets who are on the fence about getting involved?

    A. I’d remind them of why we all became veterinarians in the first place: to help animals and the people who care for them. We can participate in reducing the number of cats in shelters, finding homes, improving the lives of outdoor cats, and saving lives. For veterinarians interested in improving their skills and knowledge, I’d remind them of how often surgeons involved with TNR programs are at the forefront of new medical and surgical techniques. Multimodal anesthesia/analgesia (smaller doses of multiple drugs to induce sedation and pain control) is a technique long favored by spay/neuter and TNR clinics, and is now considered the best quality of care. Many safer, faster, more effective surgical skills have been developed in the pursuit of helping to efficiently alter more animals. Finally, I’d remind them of the benefits to our community at large. Strong TNR programs lead to healthier cat populations for everyone in our community, including our own pets. When we help out TNR programs, we’re contributing to good health practices for people and animals.

    Q. How do you think your work with TNR and feral cats has enhanced your veterinary skills?

    A. One thing about TNR is that you do a LOT of surgeries. And you can’t do a lot of anything without becoming better at it! The speed and skill I’ve developed performing spays translates to all kinds of surgeries. I get to teach students, and I love showing them things I’ve learned and developed that aren’t always taught in schools. Pedicle ties, the modified miller’s knot … all sorts of little things that make me feel like a more adept and well-rounded surgeon. It’s also caused me to stay on top of new and effective anesthetic techniques, the best cleaning protocols, and how to identify and treat infectious diseases.

    Perhaps most importantly, it’s encouraged me to educate myself in areas that are less clinical, but important for a shelter veterinarian: population-management techniques, political impacts, organizational programs like fostering, and outreach. Having this more global understanding allows me to better perform and lead in an organization like the Pennsylvania SPCA, which participates in so many aspects of animal welfare.

    Q. What do you hope to see in the future of the Trap-Neuter-Return Movement as more municipalities and more veterinarians get on board?

    A. What I’d really like to see is a more collaborative, holistic way of addressing the issue. We’re more effective when we all work together. I feel like in the past, veterinarians were sort of detached from shelters, and animal control didn’t work with rescues, and advocacy groups didn’t necessarily connect with the people on the street. More and more, I see groups and individuals working together to figure out the best solutions. We all have our part to play in helping cats. I know I’m not going to be the best person to go out trapping, but hopefully I can get the surgeries done as quickly and safely as possible. Someone else might not be great at making sure legislation makes sense, but they’ll know how to reach out to the dedicated cat caregivers. I think as we all work together, more people will get involved, and TNR will become more known and better understood. TNR should be the norm, not a mystery—I still have friends who know what I do, but call it T&R! As I correct them, I have to point out—you’re missing my whole part in this!

    Q. Thank you for your time and for everything you do to help cats.

    A. I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. I’ve loved getting to work alongside Alley Cat Allies and learning more about the impact we can have outside of our shelters and our communities. I love that I’m working in a time when veterinarians really are part of this community. I know we have so much to offer, and I think veterinarians, shelters, and advocates all can learn from each other. Working together we can accomplish so much more than we can separately.

     

  3. Does TNR Make You a Better Veterinarian?

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    An Interview with Shelter Veterinarian Adam Corbett, DVM
    adam_corbett
    Adam Corbett, DVM, always wanted to be a veterinarian. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 and is now head of surgery at the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA). A vocal supporter of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), Dr. Corbett collaborates with Alley Cat Allies to advocate for policies that support this humane and effective program.

    We spoke to Dr. Corbett recently about his involvement with TNR.

    Q. How did you become so involved with Trap-Neuter-Return?

    A. As a shelter veterinarian, and especially spay/neuter surgeon, TNR is part of my everyday life. Spay/neuter programs have long worked to help not just indoor pets and their owners, but also community cats and their caregivers. We understand that pet cats, shelter cats, and feral cats are a fluid and connected population, and we must address all these sub-populations. In all the spay/neuter clinics I’ve worked with, feral cat caregivers have been a significant portion of our clientele.

    I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the people and cats who make up a thriving TNR community, and I’ve spent a lot of time educating myself on the best way that we can address the health of our cat and dog populations and allow shelters to be as effective as possible.

    As organizations and municipalities look to figure out ways to best address feral cats, it’s important that those of us who are most familiar with these issues speak up. My veterinary background can sometimes bring a different perspective to those looking to understand this issue. The Pennsylvania SPCA is not only a shelter and humane law enforcement organization, but also an advocate for animals. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use the knowledge I have about TNR and my position with the PSPCA to speak up for cats and TNR programs.

    Q. A veterinarian’s involvement can make or break a TNR program—what would you say to vets who are on the fence about getting involved?

    A. I’d remind them of why we all became veterinarians in the first place: to help animals and the people who care for them. We can participate in reducing the number of cats in shelters, finding homes, improving the lives of outdoor cats, and saving lives. For veterinarians interested in improving their skills and knowledge, I’d remind them of how often surgeons involved with TNR programs are at the forefront of new medical and surgical techniques. Multimodal anesthesia/analgesia (smaller doses of multiple drugs to induce sedation and pain control) is a technique long favored by spay/neuter and TNR clinics, and is now considered the best quality of care. Many safer, faster, more effective surgical skills have been developed in the pursuit of helping to efficiently alter more animals. Finally, I’d remind them of the benefits to our community at large. Strong TNR programs lead to healthier cat populations for everyone in our community, including our own pets. When we help out TNR programs, we’re contributing to good health practices for people and animals.

    Q. How do you think your work with TNR and feral cats has enhanced your veterinary skills?

    A. One thing about TNR is that you do a LOT of surgeries. And you can’t do a lot of anything without becoming better at it! The speed and skill I’ve developed performing spays translates to all kinds of surgeries. I get to teach students, and I love showing them things I’ve learned and developed that aren’t always taught in schools. Pedicle ties, the modified miller’s knot … all sorts of little things that make me feel like a more adept and well-rounded surgeon. It’s also caused me to stay on top of new and effective anesthetic techniques, the best cleaning protocols, and how to identify and treat infectious diseases.

    Perhaps most importantly, it’s encouraged me to educate myself in areas that are less clinical, but important for a shelter veterinarian: population-management techniques, political impacts, organizational programs like fostering, and outreach. Having this more global understanding allows me to better perform and lead in an organization like the Pennsylvania SPCA, which participates in so many aspects of animal welfare.

    Q. What do you hope to see in the future of the Trap-Neuter-Return Movement as more municipalities and more veterinarians get on board?

    A. What I’d really like to see is a more collaborative, holistic way of addressing the issue. We’re more effective when we all work together. I feel like in the past, veterinarians were sort of detached from shelters, and animal control didn’t work with rescues, and advocacy groups didn’t necessarily connect with the people on the street. More and more, I see groups and individuals working together to figure out the best solutions. We all have our part to play in helping cats. I know I’m not going to be the best person to go out trapping, but hopefully I can get the surgeries done as quickly and safely as possible. Someone else might not be great at making sure legislation makes sense, but they’ll know how to reach out to the dedicated cat caregivers. I think as we all work together, more people will get involved, and TNR will become more known and better understood. TNR should be the norm, not a mystery—I still have friends who know what I do, but call it T&R! As I correct them, I have to point out—you’re missing my whole part in this!

    Q. Thank you for your time and for everything you do to help cats.

    A. I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. I’ve loved getting to work alongside Alley Cat Allies and learning more about the impact we can have outside of our shelters and our communities. I love that I’m working in a time when veterinarians really are part of this community. I know we have so much to offer, and I think veterinarians, shelters, and advocates all can learn from each other. Working together we can accomplish so much more than we can separately.

     

  4. When to Spay? Early!

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    Kittens can be safely spayed or neutered at eight weeks, or as soon as they weigh two pounds (and are healthy). The Humane Alliance’s When to Spay Campaign educates pet owners on when they should get their pet spayed/neutered. Featuring videos and a social media campaign, When to Spay provides the facts and stats on early-age spay/neuter in a fun format. The When to Spay crew even organized a flash mob in Asheville, N.C. (yes, there’s a video)!

    The When to Spay site features testimonials from veterinarians who support early-age spay/neuter and Vet Corner blog posts from Boyd Harrell, DVM on the health benefits of early-age spay/neuter.

    “Early age surgery is safe with fewer post-surgery concerns, is less stressful on the patient, provides a quicker recover time, and is generally less expensive than later age spay/neuter,” says Dr. Harrell.

    Here are just a few of the benefits of early-age spay/neuter:

    • It’s an easier, faster procedure.
    • Patients recover more quickly.
    • Patients have fewer complications.
    • It provides the highest level of prevention of litters.
    • It produces the most prevention per dollar invested.

    When to Spay is a great resource to share with veterinary professionals—and anyone else—who is not yet convinced that early-age spay/neuter is the way to go.

    Check out the When to Spay campaign here.
    Read more about the benefits of and techniques for early-age spay/neuter on Alley Cat Allies’ website.

  5. Keeping Spay/Neuter Clinic Doors Open in Alabama

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    alabama_action_sidebar**UPDATE: There is less than two weeks left for the Alabama Senate to conduct business in 2014. If the Senate is going to approve the Spay/Neuter Protection Act, it must do so soon. Take Action TODAY!**

    An Alabama bill that will protect spay/neuter clinics has now passed the state’s House of Representatives, and is poised for a full vote by Alabama’s Senate. Thank you to everyone in Alabama who took action to support this bill!

    The bill, the Veterinary Practice Act, will allow the state’s critical spay/neuter clinics to continue providing lifesaving services for cats and dogs. Alabama has four spay/neuter clinics that provide much-needed services including high-quality, low-cost spay and neuter procedures and basic wellness services like vaccinations and deworming. It’s critical that these clinics keep their doors open. The services are performed by licensed, experienced veterinarians who have the animals’ best interests in mind. Together, these clinics spay or neuter more than 10,000 cats and dogs each year.

    In the last few years, a state board has unfairly—and for no good reason—tried to shut these clinics down. The Veterinary Practice Act would make it clear that these important clinics, which often serve low-income and underserved communities, have the right to stay open.

    Alabama residents: Please contact your State Senator and respectfully ask him or her to support the Veterinary Practice Act, HB 141.

    Not in Alabama? Learn how you can protect the lives of cats in your community.

  6. Tell the World: Veterinarians Stand Behind Trap-Neuter-Return

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    Facebook_SharePhoto_VetsForTNRVeterinarian support of Trap-Neuter-Return is critical. Caring individuals often turn to veterinarians with questions about cats and making the right choices about their care. Unfortunately, TNR, the only humane and effective method of stabilizing feral cat populations, still meets criticism from some uninformed veterinarians.

    Because of this, some of the country’s top TNR veterinarians signed a letter printed June 1 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association voicing their strong endorsement of TNR—and explaining why it is becoming the predominant method of feral cat care.

    The more veterinarians that sign on, the more strength we’ll have behind our message: TNR works, and it works well.

    Veterinarians: Show your support for TNR by signing the letter.
    Not in the veterinary community? Ask your veterinarian to visit alleycat.org/VetsForTNR and show his or her support.

  7. Maryland Residents: New Clinic Offering Special Prices on Spay/Neuter and Vaccinations

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    From November 12-16, the Spay Spa and Neuter Nook in Davidsonville, MD will be offering $45 spay/neuter surgeries for feral cats, with rabies vaccine and eartipping. Appointments are required, so call them at (443) 607-6496 soon to make your appointments.

    We’re so excited about Rude Ranch Animal Rescue opening of this brand new clinic, which will improve the lives of Maryland’s animals and serve an area greatly in need of affordable spay/neuter services.

    Be sure to let your friends and neighbors know about this great new resource, too!

  8. Miami-Dade, Florida Residents: Vote for Affordable Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Care

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    This Election Day, residents of Miami-Dade, Florida have a chance to make a difference for thousands of cats and dogs by voting for the Pets’ Trust Ballot Measure for affordable spay/neuter and veterinary care.

    This funding would pay for two new, affordable spay/neuter clinics that would neuter 60,000-80,000 animals each year and offer low-cost veterinary services. Affordable, accessible spay/neuter is crucial to successful Trap-Neuter-Return programs and to keeping cats out of shelters, where 7 out of every 10 cats entering are killed. Clinics like these save lives by preventing new litters of kittens and puppies and ensuring that everyone—low-income families, animal rescues, TNR groups—have access to spay/neuter surgeries for the animals for which they care.

    Miami-Dade, Florida residents—please think of your county’s animals and vote for the Pets’ Trust Ballot Measure.

  9. Alabama Nonprofit Spay/Neuter Clinics Saved!

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    Today we’re celebrating with Alabama residents, veterinarians, and legislators who stood up to save their state’s nonprofit spay/neuter clinics.

    A proposed rule before the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners would have banned nonprofit groups from owning and operating spay/neuter clinics or veterinary equipment, and also would have prevented veterinarians from working with such groups.

    We responded with a proactive campaign that involved organizing thousands of phone calls to veterinarians around the state asking where they stood on the new rules, putting their answers online, and mobilizing Alabamans to take action.

    After hearing overwhelming support for the clinics and opposition to the rule from these advocates, the board unanimously voted down the proposal.

    Read the Press Release.