Increasing the life-saving capacity of animal shelters and communities through education, shelter outreach, and development of new knowledge

Now Accepting Applications for Maddie's UW/UCD Combined Shelter Medicine Fellowships 2021-2022

Maddie's UW/UCD Combined Shelter Medicine Fellowships 2021-2022

The Maddie’s UW / UCD fellowship positions were created to help provide shelter veterinarians with additional training to make a positive life-saving impact in their shelters and communities.

The fellowships provide unique opportunities for practitioners to learn via clinical interaction with the University of Wisconsin and UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Programs and with a variety of animal shelters throughout the United States and Canada, as well as other international countries.  In addition, fellows may have opportunities to interact with other academic and clinical programs, including other university shelter medicine programs as well as national animal welfare organizations.

Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Fellows will spend a total of 20 days (or the equivalent hours) over the course of about one year focused on advanced shelter medicine training beginning in August 2021 through May 2022.

Through participation in this program, the Fellow will:

  • Become familiar with resources to improve shelter animal health, including detailed knowledge of the resources available through our websites,,, other organizations with whom we regularly partner (e.g. Maddie’s Fund, HSUS, Pets for Life, ASPCA, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association), and the scientific literature.
  • Become familiar with the ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care.
  • Learn many important elements of shelter consultation, including considerations for housing, population planning, sanitation, physical and behavioral well-being, etc.
  • Interact closely with shelter medicine faculty, resident, fellow alumni and students with a goal that relationships will develop that promote life-long learning and collaboration between practitioners and academics.
  • Attend a one week virtual fellowship training camp ‘Shelter Medicine Intensive’ in order to work closely with other fellows in the program as well as the UW and UC Davis Shelter Medicine teams and veterinary students. Intensive week this year is Monday-Friday August 30-September 3, 2021. While normally held in person, this year the event will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in this camp is a requirement of the fellowship. More details of the event will be discussed during interviews. As much as we love to hold this event in person and are saddened to make this choice, we want to look out for the safety of attendees first and can promise it will still be an engaging experience.
  • Complete a project focusing on an aspect of interest to the fellow with relevance to their home base shelter and creation of materials to share with the field. Fellows may decide to change their project plan after beginning the fellowship (see below for more details on project proposal).

The Fellows will be able to put their new skills to work with their own shelter, directly benefitting shelter animals and communities.  Additionally, the shelter medicine programs and UW veterinary students will benefit from the infusion of practical experience brought by the Shelter Medicine Fellows. Many Fellows continue on with the program as alumni and mentors while working in or with shelters for years to come, greatly magnifying the benefit of this investment in their training.

Cost: Free! Fellows do not pay registration fees or tuition. Training and any potential travel costs are covered by the fellowship and made possible by a grant from Maddie’s Fund®. No other direct financial support to fellows is provided.

Selection and review committee: A committee will review applications, conduct interviews, and select candidates. The review and selection committee will be comprised of at least one member of the UW and UCD Shelter Medicine Program. Consideration will be given to selecting candidates representing a variety of geographical locations and shelter types.

Fellowship requirements: Fellows will spend about 20 days or the equivalent hours working in person and remotely with the University of Wisconsin and UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Programs including:

  • Attendance at the August 30-Sept 3rd Shelter Medicine Intensive required (virtual for 2021). 
  • Prepare, participate and follow up (e.g. provision of written recommendations or verbal presentation) on remote or on-site consultations on one or more of the following topics: shelter facility design; animal husbandry; outbreak management; data collection and analysis; or full shelter health evaluations. (completed as a part of Intensive)
  • Attend weekly remote national and internal UW/UC Davis shelter medicine rounds (1 hour weekly or bi-weekly)
  • Attend every other week or weekly fellowship group meetings (1.5 hours per meeting)
  • Complete a project (more details below)
  • Deliver a presentation on chosen shelter project and what was learned through the fellowship, giving examples of positive changes that were made at your shelter and/or within your community as a result of the experience. Likely to be presented as a part of National Shelter Medicine Rounds. Previous fellows projects can be seen here.

How to apply:

Applicants must be licensed veterinarians working with shelters in some capacity (as employees, contractual or volunteer).

Applicants Packets must include:

  • A fully completed 2021-2022 fellowship application
  • A current CV
  • A letter of intent (1 page max). Letter of intent describing why you are interested in the fellowship, how you hope it will benefit homeless animals in the near and/or long term future, further details on any of the answers above you feel need clarification, and anything else you think we should know as we consider your application.
  • A project proposal (1 page max).  The fellowship is a time to review procedures and programs in your community and within your organization. Your fellowship project will be the work you hope would be done in your organization during your time as a fellow. When writing your brief proposal, articulate some strengths and challenges in your shelter and identify the thing you would most like to change or implement and at least one thing you believe could effectively be improved. You will have the resources of the University of Wisconsin and UC Davis Shelter Medicine Programs generally available to you. You may decide to change your project plan after beginning fellowship and discussing with mentors.‚Äč
  • A letter of support from shelter management (see application for what to do if management is not in support)
  • 1 letter of reference

 Click here to view and complete the Shelter Medicine Fellowship Application.

A completed application must include an attached CV, letter of intent, project proposal, and letters of reference. You will be able to save/edit your application but incomplete applications will not be considered. All application materials must be received by 9am on Wednesday June 23, 2021.