Florida Vet School Forms Collaboration with Miami-Dade Animal Shelter

The externship aims to provide additional learning opportunities for University of Florida veterinary students while enhancing the adoptability of shelter pets in South Florida.

Fourth-year University of Florida veterinary student Tamara Downs (left) recently performed an externship at the Miami-Dade County shelter.

Tamara Downs

A new partnership between the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and the Miami-Dade County animal shelter aims to provide additional learning

opportunities for veterinary students while enhancing the adoptability of shelter pets in South Florida.

The externship program will allow up to six students at a time to spend two weeks at the Miami-Dade shelter as part of their clinical training. The students will be supervised by a UF faculty member who will be permanently based at the facility, along with a UF veterinary medical technician.

The partnership builds on an existing student externship program through which UF veterinary medical students have the opportunity to study off-site at various shelters throughout the state.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to combine what we offer in academic veterinary medicine with the day-to-day needs of the animal welfare community in South Florida,” said James W. Lloyd, DVM, Ph.D., dean of the vet school. “Although the pet adoption rates being achieved by the Miami-Dade Animal Care Department are already commendable, particularly for a shelter of its size, partnership with UF will further strengthen its success.”

Dr. Lloyd noted that the collaboration was made possible thanks to the efforts of the Miami-Dade County Commission; the county’s mayor, Carlos Gimenez; its animal services department and the South Florida Veterinary Medical Association.

“We all recognize that this important new collaboration will be a win-win-win for all, most importantly the homeless animals, veterinary medical students and ultimately the people of Miami-Dade County,” Lloyd said.

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