Texas A&M vet students to help Houston SPCA tackle animal cruelty, neglect cases

Veterinary students at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences will soon get a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the triumphs and tragedies involved in working at animal shelters.

A new partnership between Texas A&M and the Houston SPCA will create a mandatory two-week program at the Houston SPCA, where fourth-year veterinary students will team up with experts to tackle cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and trauma, the university said in a news release

Kenita Rogers, DVM, DACVIM, associate dean for professional programs, said she believes Texas A&M veterinary students will benefit immensely from the real-life experiences at the large and busy shelter that investigates more than 9,000 animal abuse and neglect cases annually.

"Through this new and incredibly exciting partnership with the Houston SPCA, our students are not only exposed to a large, complicated, and medically challenging caseload, but also have experiences that cannot be mimicked in any other setting, namely exposure to animal cruelty investigation and the principles of high-volume, high-quality shelter medicine," Rogers said. "The students are fully integrated into the operations of the Houston SPCA and are surrounded by contemporary 'real life' examples of how and why veterinarians must be involved in veterinary welfare issues."

During the program, students will work with a broad spectrum of animal species. The Houston SPCA is the only animal welfare organization in the United States to serve a full range of species on one campus, so visiting students will have the chance to help companion animals, horses and donkeys, farm animals, exotic animals, and native wildlife. 

In addition to the skills students will gain during their two weeks at the Houston SPCA, Texas A&M also expects that they will learn more about opportunities within veterinary medicine to donate their time and give back to their communities, the school said reported.