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MU and Central Missouri Humane Society Join Forces to Help Animals

Partnership will give surgical experience to veterinary students and save animal lives

April 10th, 2012

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

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By Jerett Rion

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and the Central Missouri Humane Society have begun a program that will give veterinary students hands-on surgical experience with cats and dogs from the humane society, allowing animals to receive surgical care free of charge at an MU facility.

The program, which began last week, is beneficial for both the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and the humane society. MU students will spay and neuter animals from the humane society, gaining valuable surgical experience. An MU veterinarian says the surgeries MU students will perform will make the shelter animals more adoptable.

“By fixing these animals before they are put up for adoption, it gives them a better chance to actually be adopted,” said Matthew Prator, a clinical instructor of shelter medicine in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. “Students also will be providing the animals with immunizations to protect them from common diseases.”

The Central Missouri Humane Society also sees the great opportunity this program provides to one another.

“The program is extremely beneficial for the community,” said Colin LaVaute, Shelter Relations Coordinator for the Central Missouri Humane Society. “When animals are sent to the Vet School, it frees up our schedule for low cost spays and neuters, and allows us to perform more of these services for those in Columbia that need it the most.”

Currently, MU is only working with the Central Missouri Humane Society, but MU officials are looking to expand the program to more rural areas throughout Missouri.

“Larger communities, such as St. Louis and Kansas City, have much better funding than smaller communities,” Prator said. “As we begin more partnership for those rural animal shelters, we will provide spay and neutering surgeries, as well as management and controlling of infectious diseases.”