Cynthia (Cindy) Karsten, DVM, Outreach Veterinarian

Cindy Karsten, DVM, with pup on exam tableThroughout her KSMP residency, Dr. Cindy Karsten has helped to identify and implement best practice protocols and capacity for care models at shelters across the United States and Canada. She has participated in numerous game-changing shelter consultations at both rural and urban animal care facilities, where she has assertively identified far-reaching solutions in the face of limited shelter resources.

Dr. Karsten became board certified in Shelter Medicine Practice in November, 2017. Her main areas of interest include infectious disease control, population management, intake diversion/safety net programs, and community medicine.

Dr. Karsten serves as a board member of the non-profits Mercer Veterinary Clinic for Pets of the Homeless, and Compassion Without Borders. She leads and conducts wellness/spay-neuter clinics with veterinary students regularly in Covelo, CA (an underserved community without a veterinarian), and volunteers at numerous community clinics around California.

She also continues to fund-raise for and coordinate the transport of small dogs from over-crowded facilities in California to shelters in the Midwest and Canada with a grand total of over 2,000 so far!


  • DVM, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Shelter medicine internship, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University

Professional Highlights

  • Honored presenter
    • HSUS Expo
    • CA Animal Care Conference
    • New Mexico Humane Conference
    • Texas Federation of Animal Control Facilities Annual Conference
    • UC Davis Winter Conference
    • ARF’s Business of Saving Lives
    • Colorado Animal Welfare Conference
    • New England Federation of Humane Societies Annual Training Conference
    • Texas Unites for Animals Conference
    • Canadian Federated Humane Societies annual welfare conference
    • Australia’s Getting to Zero (G2Z) Summit
  • Keynote speaker, the national 2014 PetPoint Summit Conference in Chicago


  • CFHS/FSCAA Innovation Award (2016)

Selected Publications

  • CL Karsten, DC Wagner, PH Kass, KF Hurley. An observational study of the relationship between Capacity for Care as an animal shelter management model and cat health, adoption and death in three animal shelters. The Veterinary Journal 227C (2017) pp. 15-22.
  • CL Karsten (2017). Sanitation and Disinfection. Infectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters. Second edition. L. Miller, K. Hurley and S. Janeczko.