HSVMA Hosts 9th Annual Animal Welfare Symposium for Students at Iowa State University CVM

January 2024

By Heather Schrader, RVT, MCJ

Program Manager, Student Outreach

HSVMA was excited to host our 2023 symposium on the campus at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, IA.  On Saturday, November 11, the Animal Welfare and Shelter Medicine clubs partnered with HSVMA to co-host a day of diverse and insightful lectures.  Along with veterinary and pre-vet students from Iowa State, veterinary students and veterinarians from Colorado, Oregon, Michigan and Minnesota were also in attendance.

Lecture topics included ethics and communication, spectrum of care, humane care for community cats, chicken behavior, horse rescue and the exotic animal trade.   HSUS Iowa State Director, Preston Moore, gave a brief presentation about how to get involved in local advocacy and the history of animal welfare in Iowa.  Also included was an interactive access to veterinary care panel moderated by faculty from Iowa State CVM and veterinarians representing Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) and Sovereign Nations Veterinary.  Students and veterinarians working in this arena discussed how to provide much needed care to vulnerable populations while juggling busy careers.  As more veterinary professionals become involved with providing affordable access to veterinary care, students look to these colleagues for insights on how to provide high quality care while looking out for their own mental and financial health.

After the lectures, a RAVS suture lab was held for a smaller group of students who were interested in obtaining some hands-on practice with suture techniques used in the field.   While some of the attendees used the opportunity to work on existing skills, there were some pre-vet students in attendance who appreciated their first experience handling suture and surgical instruments!  All students participating in the lab took their suture boards home so they could practice new techniques at their leisure.

The following day, the staff at Animal Rescue League of Iowa provided a tour of their amazing facility.  They are doing great work to help animals in Iowa and the people that love them.  In addition to their adoption center and cattery, ARL also has a barn that can house large and farm animals onsite.  Dr. Suzanne Millman organized a gentle chicken handling presentation for the tour group. 

A huge thank you to Total Planning Veterinary Services, HSVMA's partner in disability insurance, for continuing to support our student symposiums!  You can find more information about their program here.  And thank you to the Iowa State faculty and students who helped us organize this successful symposium!  We can’t host our symposiums without the valued support of faculty and students and Iowa State was a fantastic partner.  You can see more pictures on our Facebook page.   

HSVMA is proud to provide this free symposium every year and bring together veterinarians and students who are dedicated to animal welfare.  The Animal Welfare Symposium will return in 2024 at a new location, hopefully at a vet school near you!