First-of-its-kind Survey on Dog Shelters

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

School to gather comprehensive set of data on dog shelters in five states that will provide valuable insights into dog adoptions, ownership and resource distribution

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

Neurosurgery and Neurology

The Neurosurgery and Neurology service functions to provide high level medical and surgical neurology support for pet owners and veterinarians in Mississippi and the neurosurgerysurrounding states.  The majority of appointments are seen at the Veterinary Specialty Center (1207 Highway 182W), an affiliate of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  There, advanced imaging using our 3T MRI or 64-slice CT scanner can diagnose commonly seen diseases such as brain and spinal cord tumors, strokes, intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), including wobblers and LS syndrome, infectious granulomas, meningitis, congenital conditions such as hydrocephalus and pug myelopathy, and skull and spine fractures.  Many patients can be evaluated, have imaging performed and be discharged same day if an MRI is pre-booked on the advice of your family veterinarian.  Patients requiring hospitalization for surgical or medical treatment are transported to the MSU-CVM.  At MSU-CVM, we have access to many other specialists to provide full coverage for our patients such as radiology, internal medicine, oncology, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, behavior, dermatology, dental and ophthalmology.  If your pet requires surgery, our surgery suites are fully staffed with surgery nurses and anesthesia personnel.  To schedule an appointment, have your family veterinarian make a referral by calling 662.325.7339.


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To mail your donation, make your check payable to the Shelter Medicine Program. 

Mail to:

Jimmy Kight
College of Veterinary Medicine
Development Office
P.O. Box 6100
Mississippi State, MS  39762-6100

Please accept our many thanks for your support.

Need more information? Contact the Office of Development: 

Jimmy Kight
Director of Development
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hoblet jakSince the College of Veterinary Medicine’s establishment in 1974, we have made it our responsibility to provide a higher standard of living not just for animals and those involved in animal agriculture, but for all Mississippians.

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