Maddie’s Internships

The University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program and Dane County Humane Society offer a one year long University of Wisconsin-Dane County Humane Society Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Internship for graduate veterinarians in Madison, WI.

Two internship positions are available annually. The position is designed to provide veterinary interns with a well-rounded experience including the practice of clinical shelter medicine and surgery as well as a foundation in bigger picture Shelter Medicine concepts. Clinical training is supplemented with participation in the UW Shelter Medicine Program rounds, research projects, presentations, and shelter consultations.

University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program is a proud recipient of funding for our internship program from Maddie’s Fund®, helping to achieve a no-kill nation #ThanksToMaddie.

Meet our current interns!

2020/2021 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Interns

Dr. Shakuntala Makhijani, 2020/2021 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Intern

Shakuntala grew up outside Washington, DC. She received a BA in International Relations from Georgetown University and an MS in Environmental Science from the University of Michigan, and worked in the environmental non-profit field for several years. After volunteering at her local animal shelter and wildlife rescue, she attended veterinary school at the University of California, Davis. She continued to pursue her interests in animal welfare and community outreach during school by serving as a coordinator for student-run free clinics and foster programs. In her spare time, she enjoys wildlife photography and spending time with her cat, Neeti.

Dr. Kimberly Perley, 2020/2021 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Intern

Kim grew up in Tewksbury, MA, a town about 30 miles north of Boston. She graduated from Brown University in 2010 with an Sc.B. in neuroscience. After graduating, she worked as an emergency medical technician and as a research assistant in a dental laboratory, but volunteering in an animal shelter started her down the path to pursuing veterinary medicine. Kim received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. During vet school she developed an interest in community outreach and shelter medicine, organizing vaccine clinics and working at a free outpatient parvovirus clinic. She then completed a rotating internship at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, NJ. She is excited to move to Madison and start her (next) internship in shelter medicine. She lives with her wife, 3 cats, and 2 dogs. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, baking, and photography.

2019/2020 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Interns

Dr. Christina Barrett

Dr. Barrett grew up just outside of Baltimore, MD. She received her BS in Biology from Towson University in 2011. She then worked as a vet tech at the Baltimore Humane Society for 3 years. She attended veterinary school at Western University of Health Sciences in CA; where she continued to work towards her passion by participating in local shelter events and leading the foster program. She lives with two rambunctious cats, one very happy senior dog and a newly adopted bearded dragon. In her free time, she enjoys a good book, hiking, paddle boarding and live music. She is very excited to begin her next journey with the Shelter Medicine internship at UW-Madison and the Dane County Humane Society.

Dr. Emily Pellatt, Maddie’s Clinical Instructor at Dane County Humane Society

Dr. Pellatt graduated from the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2019. Following graduation she completed a Shelter Medicine Internship through UW-Madison and the Dane County Humane Society. Dr. Pellatt has returned to the UW Shelter Medicine Program after working as a shelter veterinarian at a private non-profit shelter with robust access to care and community support programs. Prior to joining the veterinary field Dr. Pellatt worked as a paramedic in rural Alberta and during this time became aware of the inequalities and barriers that exist within healthcare access. As a veterinarian she is passionate about helping to increase access to veterinary care for pet owners who need support and encouraging students to explore a spectrum of care approach to veterinary medicine. Dr. Emily has a hound named Rico and a cat named Frederick who is a DCHS alum. When not teaching students she enjoys getting outside and exploring Wisconsin’s waterways and parks.

2018/2019 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Interns

Dr. Melissa Gall

Melissa was born and raised in West Allis, Wisconsin. She received her BS in Biology from Carroll University in Waukesha and attended UW-Madison for veterinary school. She is very interested in the population and herd health management aspects of shelter medicine. In her free time, Melissa enjoys rock climbing, board games, and aerial dance. She lives with three mischievous cats, an adorable Pomeranian mix, and the sweetest Pitbull in the world.

Dr. Bridget Holck

Dr. Bridget Holck grew up in northwestern Illinois and attended Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, where she graduated with a degree in Biology. She worked for 3 years as a kennel technician and veterinary assistant in a municipal animal control and adoption center before earning her DVM at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Her professional interests include: helping animal shelters provide quality physical and emotional care even with limited resources, and providing low cost veterinary care to communities of financial hardship. When she isn’t pursuing her passion for shelter medicine, Bridget enjoys spending time outside, playing games, or spending time with family, friends and her two cats.

2017/2018 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Interns

Dr. Olivia Swailes

Dr. Swailes is a proud Michigander and earned her B.S. in Animal Science at Michigan State University in 2014. She graduated from the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine with her DVM in 2017. Dr. Swailes first became interested in shelter medicine after volunteering in local shelters throughout her undergraduate years, and spent many hours volunteering in the medical department of the humane society during veterinary school. Her other interests, aside from shelter medicine, include large animal medicine, infectious disease outbreak investigation, clinical research, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Swailes enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her rescue Labradors, Ruby and Hazel.

Dr. Deb Yannessa

Dr. Yannessa grew up in South Jersey and completed her BS in Biology at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. She received her DVM from NC State in 2017, and has a strong interest in shelter medicine and in animal welfare in general. Outside of veterinary medicine, her interests/hobbies include running and racing distances up to the marathon, as well as cooking, reading, and listening to podcasts. She currently has one pet — a rabbit named Wilfred.