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Vet college offers spay-neutering service

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 11 - November 7, 1996

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) has begun providing no-cost spay-neuter services to animals in the custody of the Roanoke Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RVSPCA) through a cooperative program with the Roanoke Valley Veterinary Medical Association (RVVMA).

The new program will provide a valuable public service to the SPCA since spayed and neutered animals are more appealing to those wishing to adopt animals. It will also provide training opportunities for third-year DVM students in the VMRCVM, and it will reduce the number of animals procured for the college's educational programs.

"We're very pleased to be a part of this cooperative program with the Roanoke Valley," said VMRCVM Dean Peter Eyre. "This is the kind of socially responsible program that serves society and promotes the welfare of animals in many different ways."

Jesse Webster, president of the RVVMA, said "The RVVMA is delighted to be involved in developing this cooperative program that benefits the valley's animals and aids veterinary education."

Under the terms of the arrangement, approximately 120 RVSPCA animals per year will be spayed or neutered by VMRCVM students without cost to the RVSPCA. The surgical procedures will be performed by third-year DVM students under the direct supervision of veterinary college faculty members and veterinary surgical residents. The college will also provide follow-up care in any cases where complications might arise.

Animals are selected for the program by the RVSPCA on the basis of which are the most likely to be adopted by the public if they are surgically altered. No previously adopted animals will be included.

Once a year, the RVSPCA will provide a written report to the college and the RVVMA which details the number of animals included in the program, the number of animals adopted, and information related to any complications which might occur.

This program provides the college with a regular source of intact animals that can be used in teaching laboratories which help students perfect their skills in one of the most common veterinary surgical procedures.