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Oklahoma State University

Shelter Surgery

two women and a dog

Shelter Surgery is a surgical training of DVM students at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. This rotation is three weeks, during which each student performs approximately 27 surgeries on shelter animals. Shelter Surgery at OSU CVM is a “win–win” for the shelters and our veterinary students. The students apply the surgical techniques they have learned, while the shelters have the spays and neuters performed with no professional fees so their pets may find forever homes more expediently. In addition, these experiences are invaluable to our students and to the quality of care they provide to animals.

The OSU CVM currently provides veterinary surgery care for more than 35 shelters in Oklahoma. Animals from these shelters (primarily dog and cats) are transported to the Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital for surgery. Under the guidance of experienced clinical faculty, veterinary students evaluate each animal, anesthetize it, perform surgery, provide pain medication and allow the animal to recover comfortably in a low-stress environment. Animals are then returned to their respective shelters ready for adoption.

To learn more about the Shelter Surgery program and why it matters for students and the community, visit Shelter Surgery: Why the Program Matters.


The Students

Students gain valuable surgical and clinical care experience during this rotation. Students perform more than 1000 spays and neuters, as well as other life-saving surgeries per semester. Beginning in Fall of 2019, the Shelter Surgery rotation will be a required course for fourth year veterinary students.

The Community

The Shelter Surgery program at the OSU CVM serves the local community and state of Oklahoma by reducing the number of unwanted pets through spay/neuter. This and other care provided to these animals also increase their adoptability in the shelter system.


If you are questions regarding the Shelter Surgery program, please contact the OSU Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital at 405-744-7000.


PetsMart Charities logo

The Shelter Surgery program is funded by gifts from generous donors and partially funded by PetSmart Charities.


To learn more about giving to the Shelter Surgery program, contact Ashley Hesser, assistant director of development at the OSU Foundation at 405-385-0715 or