Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Conducts First-of-its-kind Survey on Dog Shelters

For Immediate Contact:
Katie Timmerman
PH: (662) 325-0465

Starkville, MS (May 3, 2018) – Mississippi State University (MSU) and its College of Veterinary Medicine announced today that it is conducting a first-of-its-kind survey of dog shelters in five states across the country.  The survey, which is funded by the Stanton Foundation, will provide valuable information about dog populations in shelters in key geographic regions across the country.  The goal of the survey, which will be one of the most comprehensive shelter surveys in U.S. history, is to gather detailed information on the number and physical characteristics of dogs entering shelters and what happens to them.

“The lack of reliable data makes it difficult to most effectively serve and help dogs in need. This survey will ultimately enable organizations that seek to promote canine welfare to help the greatest number of dogs,” said Dr. Kent H. Hoblet, Dean of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The information will be beneficial to shelter operators, policymakers and ultimately dog owners across the nation because it will provide vital insights into patterns and behaviors regarding dog ownership, adoption, transfers, outcomes and resource distribution.”

The team conducting the survey will be reaching out to more than 400 shelters in five states – Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado and Oklahoma – that they have identified as eligible to participate. The five states were chosen because they each have a registry of shelters and provide a diverse geographical representation of the U.S.  The college is offering an honorarium of $100 to each participating shelter.

MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will build on previous work measuring and assessing dog shelters. For this current study, MSU’s team of researchers and students will visit shelters in person to gather data, which will help ensure the quality of data is strong.  The individual data gathered will be kept confidential.  Additionally, the researchers are interested in hearing feedback from stakeholders and others about this initiative.

“People in all regions of the country care very much about canine welfare, and we believe that this study will help dog owners, elected and appointed officials, and shelter operators make informed decisions,” said Dean Hoblet.  “We appreciate the shelters that are partnering with us to help us acquire this data and are looking forward to working with them.”

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Friday, May 4, 2018

MSU-CVM Assistant Professor Barbara Kaplan elected Councilor for Society of Toxicology

Dr. Barbara Kaplan, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University Center for Veterinary Medicine Department of Basic Sciences Center for Environmental Health Sciences, has been elected as 2018-2019 councilor for the Society of Toxicology.

According to its website, the Society of Toxicology is the largest toxicology society in the world with over 7,000 members from more than 60 countries. The goal of the Society is to further toxicological science in order to create “a safer and healthier world.”

Kaplan, whose research focuses on autoimmune disorders and environmental toxins, has been a member of the Society since 1997 and was nominated as councilor last November. As councilor, she will act as a liaison for the Society of Toxicology Council—the organization’s leadership group—and several of its committees, providing them with guidance. 

“I am honored to have been elected,” Kaplan said. “I’m looking forward to helping the Society achieve its goals for our members.”

Kaplan ran for councilor on a platform based on these goals. She said she will use her position to “support the Society’s efforts for recruitment and retention of students to toxicology at the undergraduate level, continue to learn about how best to communicate science and toxicology to the public, and promote the use of mentors at all career stages.”

Dr. Stephen Pruett, professor and head of the Department of Basic Sciences, said Kaplan’s new position will allow to have a positive impact in the advancement of toxicology and gain deserved prestige in her field.

“Getting elected to this leadership role in such a large organization is a great honor,” Pruett said. “It is very rare for someone as early in her career as Dr. Kaplan to be elected to the Council.”

Kaplan will begin acting as councilor on May 1, 2018.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Student Spotlight: Amber Chavez (DVM Class of 2018)

For as long as she’s been in school, Amber Chavez’s April 29 birthday has fallen on final exam week.
But this year, her birthday falls on a day she’s been working toward her whole life—her last day of school as a veterinary student in Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine before graduation.
She is about to become the first person in her family not only to graduate from college, but to have earned an advanced degree.
“Big things are happening that week,” Chavez said. “I’m a little nervous but mostly excited.”
Born in Mobile, Alabama, to parents who both worked two jobs to support their family, Chavez knew the value of hard work from a young age.
“I wouldn’t have the work ethic I have if it wasn’t for them,” she said. “They wanted something better, for them and for me, and they did what had to be done.”  Read More Here

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Annual Alpha Psi 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Nestle Purina

Students, participants and their pets braved the weather to participate in the annual Alpha Psi 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Nestle Purina. The course ran though the roads and parking areas around the Wise Center. Click Here for more images.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Sherry Blackmon and Audrey Anne Estess at AVMA Legislative Fly-In

Each year, MSU-CVM has a few of our very own students attend the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)'s Legislative Fly-In in Washington D.C. This year's Fly-In took place on March 26-27, and the two students representing us this year were Sherry Blackmon and AudreyAnne Estess.

AudreyAnne shares her exciting experience below from this year's Fly-In:

"I had the wonderful opportunity to represent MSU-CVM at the annual AVMA Legislative Fly-In. There were about 100 veterinarians and veterinary students meeting with U.S. Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. Among many topics, we discussed animal health/agriculture research, vaccine banks, and student loan repayment programs. It was so eye opening to learn about everything that happens in Congress that has a direct impact on animal health and the veterinary profession. At the Fly-In, I served as an advocate for companion animals, farm animals, pet owners, farmers, and veterinary professionals. It was so fulfilling to know that I was standing up for policy that would benefit such a wide array of humans and animals. I look forward to future opportunities in which I can be a voice for our profession."

#WeRingTrue #vetmed #students #outreach #congress #advocacy #policy #washingtondc

Thursday, March 8, 2018

MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine to host inaugural Shelter Educational Conference, sponsored by PetSmart Charities

STARKVILLE, Miss.— The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting its first Shelter Educational Conference, funded entirely by PetSmart Charities. PetSmart Charities donated $16,050 for the conference, which will focus on ways in which animal shelters can improve their quality of care.

“PetSmart Charities has been one of the biggest supporters of our shelter medicine program,” Dr. Philip Bushby, professor emeritus and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Marcia Lane Endowed Chair of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare, said. “They fund a lot of the good work we do for shelter animals in Mississippi.”

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s shelter medicine program currently works with twenty-five shelters in the north Mississippi area. The program provides guidance in shelter management and safety, and combats overpopulation by offering high-volume, high-quality spay and neuter services through their mobile veterinary surgical units. These services are offered at no cost to the shelters.

“The idea for this conference came from seeing the constant needs of the shelters our program works with, but also recognizing that many shelters have similar needs,” Bushby said. “We want every shelter employee to leave the conference ready to make their shelters better than when they left them, regardless of their level of resources.”

The Shelter Educational Conference is open not just to veterinarians, but all people involved in shelter work, from managers and staff to volunteers.

“Shelters serve a key role in educating people to properly care for animals, and it is important that shelters understand not only how to properly care for animals, but also how to educate the people in their local communities on the proper care of animals,” said College of Veterinary Medicine dean, Dr. Kent Hoblet. “By opening the conference to such a broad group of attendants, it will serve as a multiplier for that important educational component.”

Speakers for the conference are all veterinarians and technicians from the College’s Shelter Medicine Program. They will cover topics ranging from capacity for care to shelter biosecurity to behavioral enrichment for dogs and cats.

Recognizing the limited resources of most shelters, the generous support of PetSmart Charities allows for registrants to attend the conference at no cost.

“PetSmart Charities’ continued support for the College’s shelter medicine program has been critical to enhance the program and broaden its reach throughout the community,” said Jimmy Kight, the College’s director of development. “By supporting grants such as this one, PetSmart Charities helps make possible critical training for shelter workers who directly address animal health and welfare needs on a daily basis.”

The Petsmart Charities Shelter Educational Conference will take place at the College of Veterinary Medicine on April 21 and 22. Registration is available through Friday, April 13, and individuals can register online:  Conference Registration click here.

Questions or requests for additional information about the conference can be directed to Dr. Philip Bushby at