HSVMA Sponsors Veterinary Student Involvement in World Spay Day
Clinics Combine Training With Companion Animal Population Control

February 23, 2015

Get Your Certificate of Appreciation

HSVMA is offering veterinary professionals – veterinarians, veterinary technicians and students – who participate in World Spay Day the opportunity to receive an HSVMA Certificate of Appreciation. Request your certificate»

For the fifth year in a row, HSVMA is sponsoring World Spay Day events involving veterinary students to promote awareness of the need for spay and neuter of companion animals as well as to help provide training opportunities for veterinary students in this life-saving surgical procedure.

World Spay Day is an annual campaign presented by The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and HSVMA. Launched in 1995, it aims to encourage people to save animal lives by spaying and neutering companion animals and feral cats. World Spay Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Tuesday in February but events take place throughout the month of February, which is recognized as Spay/Neuter Awareness Month.

HSVMA encourages veterinary students to participate in World Spay Day events because it is a great opportunity to not just help companion animals in their communities, but also to gain some hands-on training in surgical skills. For many students, the events foster a desire to continue to help address companion animal overpopulation during their veterinary school years and beyond.

For 2015, HSVMA is sponsoring World Spay Day events involving veterinary students from Oklahoma State University, University of Wisconsin, UC Davis, and University of Illinois. These events will provide sterilization surgeries for nearly 300 animals as well as offer hands-on training to dozens of veterinary students in a variety of tasks, ranging from surgical prep and anesthesia monitoring to assisting with surgery.

Lesa Staubus, DVM/Operation Catnip Stillwater

“World Spay Day is a great way to get people talking about community animal health,” said Jackie Paritte, a senior veterinary student at Oklahoma State University, where HSVMA sponsored a spay/neuter clinic hosted by Operation Catnip Stillwater that altered 89 feral cats. “World Spay Day falls during ‘kitten season,’ when people see first-hand the consequences of uncontrolled feral cat breeding. Thanks to support from HSVMA, we can provide much-needed veterinary care to these cats, making both the cats and their communities happier and healthier."

Susan Kresbach, DVM/HSVMA

“I tell the students every month that our clinic is often the only veterinary care that some of the cats will ever receive,” said Dr. Karen Hershberger, coordinator of the Dane County Friends of Ferals World Spay Day event at Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin. This World Spay Day event, also sponsored by HSVMA, sterilized approximately 50 cats and involved veterinary students from University of Wisconsin as well as veterinary technician students from Madison College and Globe University. “I find this fact particularly meaningful watching the future of our profession, the veterinary students and veterinary technician students, actively participate in this care at our clinic,” added Dr. Hershberger.

Bob Weedon, DVM/University of Illinois

Meanwhile, the HSVMA-sponsored event involving University of Illinois veterinary students took place the weekend of Feb. 14-15 at the Champaign County Humane Society in partnership with the Illinois Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. The event involved all levels of veterinary students as well as some Animal Sciences undergraduate students who helped with paperwork and monitoring recovery.

“It truly was a collaborative event,” said Dr. G. Robert Weedon, Clinic Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. “CCHS provided a space for us to park our mobile sterilization trailer and room for check-in, staging, exam and induction, and recovery. The cats were sterilized on the mobile unit by fourth year students and the Shelter Medicine Intern. They were monitored and prepped by first, second, and third year veterinary students. The undergraduate students assisted with check-in and discharge, as well as recovery. We were all tired at the end of the day, but did a lot of good. Seventy six cats will not be reproducing as a result.”

UC Davis

Pam Runquist/HSVMA

The World Spay Day event involving veterinary students from UC Davis will take place on March 1st at clinics throughout the Sacramento region. Hosted by the Sacramento Area Animal Coalition, HSVMA is helping sponsor veterinary student participation at two of the clinics - the Sacramento SPCA and Yolo County Animal Services – where more than 100 cats and dogs will be sterilized.

Learn more about World Spay Day and get information about how to request an HSVMA Certificate of Appreciation for your WSD involvement»


Veterinary student and veterinary technician student involvement in World Spay Day extends beyond the HSVMA-sponsored events to many schools throughout the United States. For example, veterinary students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine once again participated in the World Spay Day event hosted by Operation Catnip of Gainesville. The event marked the sterilization of the 45,000th cat by the Operation Catnip crew. And veterinary technician students at Johnson College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, hosted their tenth World Spay Day event this year, helping to sterilize approximately 30 pets from their community. The event “gives our students not only an opportunity to practice the many skills they have been trained with, but also allows them to see how they can have a positive impact in their community,” said Rosemary Cook, CVT, PhD, chairperson of the Department of Veterinary Technology at Johnson College. “This one, long, hard day affects at least 20-30 families in our area that could not afford to sterilize their pet.”

If your school participated in World Spay Day this year and would like to share photos, please post them on the HSVMA Facebook page or email them to [email protected].