Ontario Shelter Medicine (OSMA) will soon become a national shelter medicine organization. We will aim to promote networking among shelter medicine professionals across Canada, while working co-operatively with other sheltering and veterinary organizations.
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An Ontario Shelter Medicine Community
Shelter medicine is a rewarding, vibrant and growing field of veterinary medicine. The past 15 years have seen the formation of the highly influential Association of Shelter Veterinarians out of the U.S. With other organizations, the ASV has transformed sheltering. Through their work, Shelter Medicine has become a boarded veterinary specialty through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.
However, many veterinarians and veterinary technicians working in and for animal shelters and rescues have never been exposed to shelter medicine as a unique discipline, and may not fully appreciate how different shelter medicine is from private veterinary practice.
The Ontario Shelter Medicine Association was born of the recognition that, despite the wonderful work being done by the ASV and others, shelter medicine in Canada needs its own voice. Access to a local network of shelter professionals will help us provide local solutions. We need to get shelter medicine into our schools. A strong shelter medicine community in Canada will work to address important issues like euthanasia practices, animal cruelty laws, animal hoarding and the transport of animals from other countries.
Vision and Goals
Our vision is both local and national:
- Grassroots networking among shelter medicine professionals
- Bridge-building and collaboration with other sheltering and veterinary organizations
- Working towards a national shelter medicine organization for Canada
Our goals and scope are limited to functions that are specifically of benefit to shelter medicine in Ontario and Canada. We won’t waste time and energy trying to duplicate functions that are already being performed exceptionally well by other organizations . The OSMA will be complementary to the ASV – we see ourselves as a gateway to the ASV.
Our immediate goals are to:
- Promote networking, mutual assistance and communication among shelter veterinarians and veterinary technicians
- Promote humane sheltering through promotion of the ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care
- Work to increase exposure of veterinary and veterinary technician students to shelter medicine, and provide education and resources for veterinarians and technicians working with shelter animals
Our membership is open to veterinarians and veterinary technicians who:
- Are employed by shelters
- Work on contract for shelters or rescues
- Volunteer for shelters or rescues
- Have an interest and passion for shelter medicine
Most of the medical care for shelter and rescue animals is provided by community veterinarians and veterinary technicians. We strongly encourage you to become members! Colleagues outside Ontario are very welcome to join.
We also welcome veterinary and vet tech students.
What We Offer
- A Canadian shelter medicine community
- Shelter medicine education opportunities
- News and information about sheltering events
- Meet-ups at conferences
- A forum to exchange ideas and information
- An opportunity to get involved, for those who want to help us achieve our goals