Presentations at Veterinary Schools

HSVMA brings educational presentations on animal welfare topics to veterinary schools by request. We cover all our speakers' travel costs and can also reimburse for the cost of food. In return, we ask that students interested in bringing one of our talks to their campus secure a lecture hall or other meeting room and advertise the talk by posting flyers (we will provide them) and/or emailing the student body.

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Presentation Topics

Spay Before They Stray: The Benefits of Early-Age Sterilization

Early-age spaying and neutering is the most effective means of preventing unplanned litters of kittens and puppies. The procedure is less stressful on a juvenile patient and is an easier surgery for the veterinarian to perform.

This presentation provides examples of surgical sterilization of a kitten and a puppy and includes discussions about anesthesia protocols, surgical techniques and recovery factors, as well as video clips.

Just wanted to say the presentation was great and a real success for HSVMA.

- Allison Pang, Western Health Sciences University Class of 2011

The Inconvenient Truth about Cosmetic and Convenience Surgeries on Cats and Dogs

Dr. Hodges addresses students
Dr. Barbara Hodges speaks to a group of students at Western University.

Convenience surgeries, such as cat declawing, ear cropping and tail docking, have no medical benefit, but are still performed by many veterinarians.

This presentation reviews these procedures and explains some of their negative side effects. It also includes information about alternatives and how to effectively explain them to clients.




…the lecture was a great success! We had over 100 students attend! So this is definitely something I'd like to do again next semester.

- Nicole Putney, Washington State Class of 2011

Feline Frenzy: The Veterinarian's Role in Solving the Feral Cat Overpopulation Crisis

The veterinary community plays a critical role in helping solve the cat overpopulation crisis by participating in trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs and providing accurate information on feral cat health and wildlife impacts.

This presentation summarizes our current understanding of feral cat management and reviews the elements of a successful feral cat spay/neuter clinic.

Just wanted to let you know that our first HSVMA talk was today and we all felt it went over really well! Dr. Cheever is a very engaging speaker…

-Mehnaz Aziz, Tufts Class of 2012

Doing Well Because You're Doing Good: How Helping Animals Can Help Your Bottom Line

A growing concern for animal welfare and increasing public appreciation for positive social impact by veterinarians means that involvement in community animal welfare activities and the operation of a profitable practice need not be mutually exclusive.

This presentation provides case studies of veterinarians who have sustained profitable practices while focusing on essential therapeutic services, such as low-cost sterilization, declining to perform cosmetic surgeries, and working with rescue groups and shelters.

The talk went very well today! Dr. Cheever was excellent!

- Amanda McCullough, University of Pennsylvania Class of 2011

Puppy Mills and Irresponsible Dog Breeding: Fertile Ground for Canine Health Concerns

The expansive puppy mill industry raises many animal health and welfare concerns. Although the conditions vary widely in quality, puppy mills are typically operated with an emphasis on profits over animal welfare and the dogs often live in substandard conditions, housed for their entire reproductive lives in cages or runs, provided little to no positive human interaction or other forms of environmental enrichment, and minimal to no veterinary care.

This presentation defines what makes a breeding facility a puppy mill, reviews the number of puppies that come from puppy mills and how they are sold, showcases the common health problems seen in dogs bred in these environments and the impact on the puppies, puppy buyers, animal shelters, and other organizations.

Just wanted to let you know that the puppy mill presentation went very well and we had a wonderful turn out!

- Alison Liu, Iowa State Class of 2011

On the Front Line: The Veterinarian's Role in Recognizing and Reporting Animal Cruelty

As an animal advocate and veterinary professional, one of the most important tasks you may undertake is recognizing and reporting animal cruelty. This presentation will provide guidance on recognizing animal cruelty, including abuse and neglect, and understanding the veterinary professional's responsibilities in reporting these cases to the appropriate authorities.

Looking for Your First Job: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (an opinionated, but honest view)

You’ve graduated from veterinary school…now what? This talk will cover factors to consider during your job search—including welfare issues you may want to ask about during your interview—the advantages and disadvantages of corporate medicine and the different compensation packages you may be offered. Best suited for third- and fourth- year students.

Are DVMs Patient Advocates? Prioritizing Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Practice

Veterinarians are often faced with conflicts between the desire to help animals and the clients' difficulties in meeting the increasing costs of our medical care, as well as our employer’s policies and expectations. This interactive talk will help you consider the conflicts you will likely face as a practicing veterinarian trying to balance competing interests.

Wildlife Care Basics for Veterinary Hospitals and Shelters

What should a veterinarian do to start care for injured or orphaned wildlife presented to their practice? This introductory talk is based on an HSVMA resource, Wildlife Care Basics for Veterinary Hospitals, written by rehabilitators for veterinarians who may receive injured wildlife in their practices. The guide provides tips for basic initial care of wild mammals, birds and reptiles, and what the staff can do in the first hours before the animal is transferred to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Veterinary Ethics in the Real World

This presentation delves into some hot-button, day-to-day ethical dilemmas faced in practice and in the profession.

Animal Research: Ethics, Attitudes and Science — A Never-ending Debate?

This talk reviews the 19th century concerns re animal research & how those might influence or explain the modern debate and then reviews the trends in attitudes to animal research and science, discusses the various ethical approaches to the issue, outlines the current regulatory framework, reviews selected campaigns and case studies and closes with a discussion of intersections between the veterinary profession and the animal protection movement.

Companion Animal Population Demographics and the Veterinary Profession

This talk reviews overall trends in dog and cat populations, reviews the number of animals handled by shelters and the outcomes for those animals, how this data has been used to track trends and discusses various benchmark statistics.

Dog Sterilization Projects in Developing Countries: Lessons and Opportunities

This talk outlines some of the challenges for humane management of dogs in developing countries and discusses high-volume same-day sterilization and return approaches and how they can be safely implemented for the dogs (small incisions and short surgery times appear to be very important) and how they are beginning to change the way municipalities in developing countries are beginning to approach street dog management and bite/rabies control.

Keeping a Disaster from Being a Disaster!

This talk provides an in depth look at the many types of disasters, both natural and manmade, with a careful look at planning as an attempt to minimize their impact. The presenter has responded to a wide variety and scope of Disasters (from 911 to Hurricane Katrina) and shares his experiences to help in the planning process.

Why Small Animal Veterinarians Should Care About Farm Animals

More than three-fourths of veterinarians in the United States practice small animal medicine while there are sixty times more farmed animals killed for food in this country than dogs and cats.

This presentation summarizes the current conditions in which farm animals are raised and slaughtered in the United States, provides an ethical argument as to why small animal veterinarians should be concerned about farm animals, and provides a variety of ways small animal veterinarians can use their expertise to make a difference in improving the welfare of these animals.

**The following topics are NEW for the 2014-15 school year**

Promoting Public Health Through Animal Protection

To ensure animal protection and welfare, collaboration and coordination is critical among three groups: the veterinary profession, animal protection organizations, and law enforcement. Their missions are unique yet interdependent. We all must strive to ensure better communication and respect for one another. To not do so will be to the detriment of animals.

Malicious Poisoning of Animals: Dos and Don’ts of Case Investigation

It is a sad fact that the intentional poisoning of animals occurs on a regular basis. Most cases involve either neighborhood pets or wildlife. In many situations, law enforcement or regulatory agencies become involved in case investigations and there is always the potential for litigation to occur. Veterinarians play critical roles in: 1) recognition of possible malicious poisoning cases, 2) collection of proper antemortem or postmortem samples for the diagnosis of specific toxicant exposure, 3) advising owners and law enforcement or regulatory agency personnel about case details. This presentation is designed to provide the proper tools to help recognize and resolve malicious animal poisoning cases.

Dare to Do

A growing concern for animal welfare and increasing public appreciation for positive social impact by the veterinary profession opens up numerous exciting opportunities for veterinarians to make a long-term impact on the health and well-being of animals, and have an amazing experience doing it.

This hour will be a pictorial tour with Dr. Barry Kellogg on some of the projects that he has been fortunate to have been able to take part in. Travelling within the U.S. or to China, Mexico, Philippines, Haiti and Egypt, these adventures serve as examples of opportunities that are available if you just “Dare to Do.” Whether it is dehorning rhinos to eliminate their value to poachers, responding to a disaster, taking part in and shutting down an animal fighting ring, being a part of a major puppy mill bust, volunteering or teaching surgical skills in rural settings here and abroad, performing wellness clinics in underserved urban communities, intervening on behalf of animals via legislative advocacy and policy, or providing care for animals in need, whether it be out in the community or within the clinic walls. Dr. Kellogg will show you how you too can “Dare to Do.”

Big projects or little ones, we all can make a difference for animals.

Request a Presentation at Your School

To request an HSVMA presentation, please send an email to Erin Luebkeman, Outreach and Program Coordinator, with the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Name of the veterinary school you attend
  3. Presentation topic(s) you are interested in
  4. Proposed date(s) and time (i.e., lunch or evening talk)

Priority scheduling will be granted to schools with HSVMA Student Chapters.

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