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.