Apply for our new Associate Director Position

Calling all veterinarians with shelter medicine and HQHVSN expertise looking to scale your impact!

If you’re a veterinarian who has dedicated your life’s work to helping animals and people in the shelter environment and believe that your vision for improving those conditions could be realized if only ____________, this very well may be the day the opportunity you’ve been dreaming about becomes your next chapter–and a new chapter for shelter medicine.

The Koret Shelter Medicine Program (KSMP) has been a leader in advancing animal shelter wellness for over twenty years. Founded as the first such program in the world, the KSMP has grown to be an umbrella organization that unites the three main prongs of our program: veterinary student training; outreach and online training for veterinarians, shelter leaders and staff; and California state-funded grant support for shelters.

We’re thrilled to be hiring our first-ever associate director-level position to help shape the future of our program and expand our current work focused on solving the crisis in access to veterinary care in shelters.

Who you are

You’re ready to work collaboratively to tackle an ambitious goal: Build a robust and engaged community of veterinarians working together to provide excellent care to animals, grow the programs that meet the needs of their shelters and communities, and thrive in a work culture that sustains physical and emotional wellbeing. You appreciate a balance of theory and practice, sometimes dreaming big and other times consulting directly with shelters to put ideas to work. You’re excited to broaden participation in the field we love by engaging with diverse students early in their training and adding a shelter medicine perspective to larger discussions on unraveling racial and social inequities in veterinary medicine.

How you’ll advance the field of shelter medicine

At the most fundamental level, Shelter Medicine needs Shelter Veterinarians, in sufficient numbers and able to be effective in their roles. A lack of access to veterinary care in shelters has been identified as a leading factor crippling North American animal shelters today. This crisis is fueled by a combination of burnout and exhaustion driving veterinarians from the profession and impacting those who are struggling to stay, and the vast gulf between supply of veterinarians graduating and demand to fill positions in shelters. There’s no time to wait for outside solutions that could take years to enact. If you’re energized by the prospect of finding near as well as longer term solutions to this challenge, this role is for you. You’ll be an integral part of the movement to turn the tides and facilitate systemic changes that bring shelter veterinarians support, autonomy, and deep satisfaction in the ability to achieve their mission – so they stay in their roles and attract new members to our field.

Where we’ll start:

  • Together, we’ll identify the most pressing challenges and promising solutions in shelter medicine and work to shrink and expand accordingly. We’ve done this before and we know it can work.
  • We’ll imagine and build a community that attracts and retains shelter veterinarians from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, who enter this field ready to make a positive impact.
  • We will also help build the pipeline of students graduating from veterinary school with a passion for shelter medicine and the skills to get to work.
  • We will help veterinary teams in shelters increase their efficiency and effectiveness in shelter medicine and high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter through consultations, training, and mentorship.
  • We will partner with the newly expanded Access to Care program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to align and leverage our mutual work to increase the veterinary services available for all animals, in and out of shelters.
  • We will join national conversations and engage with efforts to increase access to veterinary care across the board.
  • We will identify future directions for strategic growth of the KSMP and associated revenue streams as two of our major grant initiatives reach completion in the coming years.

How you’ll be supported

  • You’ll lead a team of outreach veterinarians with extensive shelter medicine experience, a willingness to learn and grow, and a sense of humor and fun.
  • You’ll be in thought partnership with our current director, co-founder of the Maddie’s Million Cat Challenge, and co-author of the first edition of the ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters, Dr. Kate Hurley.
  • You’ll work in concert with other strategic programs under the KSMP umbrella that, together, make for a comprehensive shelter-solution powerhouse.
  • You’ll have access to the innovations and advancements of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine – trust us, for all the bureaucracy, this is sometimes really fun and empowering!
  • You’ll be powered by the sun, sea, and mountains in the unparalleled lands of Northern California (we’re not biased, this is just fact).
  • You’ll be in the environment that YOU thrive in. Most days of the month, that’s wherever you choose to be productive, whether that’s an office on campus, your living room at home, or really anywhere with internet access. Up to a few times a month, you’ll get to be on campus to engage with other faculty, school leadership and/or veterinary students.
  • You’ll have excellent work/life balance and you’ll be further supported by a comprehensive benefits package.

Intrigued? Head over to the UC Davis jobs site and look for the Veterinarian 3 (Associate Director) listing. Don’t be fooled that the category is listed as clinical laboratory services, you will see the UC Davis KSMP listed in the first sentence of the description. Yep, we know it’s a little clunky but that’s how the University of California does it! If you have any questions about the role, feel free to reach out to or program director Kate Hurley at

Deadline to apply is June 30th, but if you need a little more time to consider this amazing option feel free to reach out and let us know.

Study Confirms Statewide Veterinary Shortage


Hundreds of thousands of animals impacted, and euthanasia expected to rise without immediate action  

Davis, February 1, 2023—More than 344,000 California shelter animals do not have adequate access to veterinary care staff, according to a recent survey that highlights how veterinarian shortages are profoundly impacting California’s most vulnerable animals. As a result, shelters are becoming overcrowded, illness is rising, and adoptable animals are being euthanized.  

Map of California with red dots representing shelters with unfilled veterinarian or Registered Veterinary Tech positions

Of the shelters that have budgeted positions for veterinarians and veterinary nurses, more than 50% of those positions remain vacant due to a lack of candidates, leaving 25% of shelters unable to provide essential veterinary care. The survey also noted that 64% of shelters cannot provide care for basic medical needs such as treating common viral infection parvovirus, performing diagnostics like bloodwork and X-rays, and performing surgeries, including spay/neuter. Furthermore, 68% cannot consistently provide complete care to treat conditions commonly seen in shelters, such as fractures, eye injuries, and dental problems.  

“This survey lays bare the tremendous hardships facing California’s most vulnerable pets and adds even more urgency to addressing our state’s debilitating veterinary shortage,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, CEO of the SF SPCA. “Inequitable access to veterinary care is the greatest threat to companion-animal welfare of our generation. Unless we take immediate steps to mitigate the suffering through a combination of policy and support of veterinary professionals, these issues will only worsen, and animals will be the real victims.”  

According to the survey, veterinary-care shortages have already led to an increase in the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals at more than a third of California shelters. Moreover, 40% of animal shelters cannot provide consistent access to spay/neuter services, which are required in California before animals can be adopted. 

Many shelters provide critical support to their communities through low-cost spay/neuter and other surrender-prevention resources. The survey showed that 78% of shelters are unable to consistently provide these services. The impacts compound themselves in a reinforcing downward cycle. For example, if spay/neuter services cannot be offered to the community, this can lead to more “unwanted” animals surrendered to the shelter. 

“The lack of veterinarians in California is having a devastating effect on our state’s most vulnerable animals,” said State Senator Dave Cortese. “We are seeing increases in diseases and even euthanasia services to our pets simply because we do not have the capacity to care for them. Unless we make significant changes soon to how we support our veterinarians and medical staff, more animals will continue to suffer needlessly.” 

The survey was conducted by the SF SPCA in partnership with the UC-Davis Koret Shelter Medicine ProgramCalAnimalsUniversity of Tennessee Pet Health Equity ProgramHumane Society of Silicon Valley, and San Diego Humane Society. It was made possible through a California for All Animals grant from the UC-Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program.  

Nearly 80% of respondents said that an increased length of stay in animal shelters results from inadequate access to vet care. This raises the costs to house animals, strongly contributes to behavioral deterioration, and increases the number of animals that the shelter staff need to care for at any given time.  

“These staffing shortages are not only endangering the health and well-being of our animals, they are having increasingly detrimental effects on workers throughout the industry,” said Kate Hurley, Program Director of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program. “Staff are overwhelmed because of the sheer volume of animals in their care, and that anxiety is heightened by the inability to provide the level of veterinary care staff know the animals deserve. Shelters are in desperate need of assistance to resolve the situation both in the immediate and long-term. This industry is in a time of crisis right now.” 

Homeless animals need your support. Consider reaching out to your local and state representatives to encourage them to take action on this matter. You can also help by adopting, volunteering, and supporting your local animal shelter.  

The SF SPCA, advocates, and fellow shelters are working to partner with oversight agencies for solutions. 

The full survey results can be found at 

UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program Awards Animal Shelters More Than 5.8
Million Dollars Through California for All Animals Spring Grant Cycle

Davis, Calif., Dec. 12, 2022 – California for All Animals has completed awards totaling more than 5.8 million dollars to animal shelters across the state through its spring 2022 “Open Grant” cycle. Launched in February 2022, this five-year, state-funded initiative—administered by the Koret Shelter Medicine Program (KSMP) at the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health—reflects California’s commitment to ending euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in shelters and creating communities where all pets and their people, no matter where they call home, have access to the resources, relationships, and opportunities they need to thrive. 

The spring grant cycle focused on keeping animals in their homes through growing shelter and community-centered programming so that every at-risk animal can receive the Right Care in the Right Place, at the Right Time, and to the Right Outcome.  

“We all know pets and people belong together, and the reality is most animals entering shelters are loved and wanted. Everything from an unexpected illness to rising grocery bills can force families to surrender their pet; something as simple as a fence that needs repair can lead to a lost dog,” said Allison Cardona, California for All Animals director. “Together, we’re responding to these challenges, and we’re proud to fund shelters’ efforts to develop and integrate essential resources that keep animals with the people who love them, or help them succeed in new homes when needed.” 

Over 60 shelters received grants in support of proposals that lay the tracks for a system of care that builds and sustains animal health and well-being in the community, inside the shelter and out. These initiatives connect people and animals with the resources they need to move forward in life together, whether that’s through addressing issues that prevent families from getting veterinary care or securing pet-inclusive housing, or joining forces to make sure lost pets return home. 

“With this grant, we’re creating a network of neighbors ready to help locate a lost pet’s family, starting by making microchip scanners available at easily accessible locations, including police departments and fire stations, said Tracy Mohr, Chico Animal Shelter Director.  

“Next, we’ll expand this network to include neighborhood volunteers known as ‘Pet Pals.’ It’s a team effort—we all want to do the right thing to help pets get reunited with their owners. What better way to empower our community but to provide people with the tools to help them be successful.” 

Other shelters participating in California for All Animals are establishing a strong foundation for well-being by expanding spay and neuter capacity; increasing positive outcomes through adoptions, foster programs, or animals reunited with their families and returned home; strengthening the physical, medical, and mental well-being of animals in the shelter; and boosting community services and partnerships through expanded opportunities for engagement, veterinary care, and pet supplies. 

For a full list of shelters who received an Open Grant, visit To learn more about California for All Animals and join the shelters, supporting organizations, and people building humane-hearted communities for pets and people, visit

KSMP Seeks California Manager

What we’re looking for

The Koret Shelter Medicine Program is on a mission to ensure no healthy or treatable animal is euthanized in a California animal shelter and instead receives the right care, at the right time, in the right place, to the right outcome. 

To do this, we’re offering the veterinary support, leadership training, and financial resources needed to protect and promote the human-animal bond for ALL Californians through the California for All Animals (CA4AA) program. We’re looking for someone to help lead the CA4AA program and institutionalize the core initiatives that both expand access to animal care services and promote equity within shelters and through the services they provide to their communities. 

Funding for change

On the surface, CA4AA is a $50M, five-year grants program with one clear objective: eliminate unnecessary euthanasia in California animal shelters. Underneath you’ll find a comprehensive program designed to meet shelters where they are and offer assistance that goes beyond financial support to address root problems that erode foundations and prevent organizations from scaling their best interventions. 

In your role, you’ll be working closely with the California State Director, KSMP Outreach Team, and animal shelters to identify and remove barriers that keep animals from people and people from accessing shelters. Through expert-led online training, onsite consultations, virtual community gatherings, and financial support, you’ll connect shelter personnel to the resources they’ve identified as necessary to achieve their goals. You’ll work with organizations from application to the implementation of their vision, facilitating, documenting, overseeing and analyzing the entire funding cycle.

Is this opportunity speaking to YOU?

Are you passionate about large-scale collaboration united around a shared vision that begins at the community level? 

If you have a heart and mind that is called to social services work, if you’re a born organizer, connector, elevator, advocate, communicator and general scaler of the good, we’d like to meet you and discuss how this role might benefit from your unique skill set. 

We are committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. 

This position can be remote, though it is highly desired that this candidate lives in California currently or is willing to relocate to California, with a preference for those with roots and experience in California communities.

Applicants should have at least 4 years of experience in organizational operations management (non-profit, government or similar), with some significant experience in animal shelter management/operations.

To apply or share with a colleague, click here: Careers (

Reach Out to Join Our California Outreach Team

Our person

We’re looking for a seasoned shelter professional who is ready to roll their sleeves up and apply their years of shelter operation and animal care experience to a program that is designed to scale humane, community-centered practices to shelters of every type. 

If you share our passion for supporting shelters in reaching their goals through inclusion, transparency, organizational wellness, purpose-driven innovation, and barrier-busting programs, we’d like to learn more about your experience and vision for community-based animal sheltering. 

What your role would look and feel like

Each member of our outreach team has an area of interest that together allows us to offer shelters well-rounded support. You’ll be lending your operational and animal care expertise to round out a team of veterinarians specializing in data analysis, facility design, housing, behavior & enrichment, infectious disease management, free-roaming cat programming, and Capacity for Care. You’ll be visiting shelters in person, working with shelter personnel through phone, Zoom and email, and participating in our online training courses hosted in the Learniverse.

Is this opportunity speaking to YOU?

Do you love working with animals but find one of your superpowers is supporting and mentoring people? Do you know firsthand how satisfying it is to streamline processes and remove barriers for staff, animals, and the communities we assist? Are you ready to take what you’ve learned and pass it along to your California colleagues? Let’s talk about transitioning into the next chapter of your career where you’ll scale the number of animals you help by coaching, supporting, and serving the people that care for them.

We are committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Remote work is an option but the candidate must live in California (preference for those with roots and experience in California) or be willing to relocate.

At least 4 years of experience in organizational operations management (non-profit, government or similar) is required, with some significant experience in animal shelter management/operations.

To apply or share with a colleague, click here by July 10: Careers (

Hurley Article on Appointment-Based Shelter Admissions Climbs the Charts

“The Evolving Role of Triage and Appointment-Based Admission to Improve Service, Care and Outcomes in Animal Shelters,” an article written by Koret Shelter Medicine Program Director Dr. Kate Hurley and published in the March 2022 edition of Frontiers in Veterinary Science, has been viewed 4,167 times as of today, putting it in the top third for popularity in Frontiers.

screenshot of Dr. Hurley's article in Frontiers in Veterinary Science

In the article, Dr. Hurley notes the disadvantages of the century-old practice of ad hoc animal shelter intake, and discusses how restrictions forced by the COVID pandemic buttressed existing evidence that a more thoughtful, scheduled approach to intake could benefit animals, shelters and communities.

Drawing on lessons from human health care services as well as research and recent experience, Dr. Hurley provides evidence that the implementation of triage and appointment-based services “better realizes the goals of shelters to serve the common good of animals and people in the most humane, equitable and effective possible way.”

Read the full article here.

California for All Animals Announces New Grant Opportunity

California State Director Allison Cardona announced today a request for proposals for a new round of grants to California animal welfare agencies. The Open Grants proposal period lasts from May 1 – June 30, 2022.

This round of funding is available to municipal shelters, private shelters with municipal contracts, and private shelters without municipal contracts that house animals in a brick and mortar facility and are open to the public a minimum of fifteen hours per week for adoptions and return to home.

Funding is also available to animal control agencies that provide field services and animal control functions are also eligible to apply, even if they do not perform sheltering services.

Grants ranging from $20,000 – $200,000 will be awarded over the next few months and focused on the following areas: Outcomes (Adoptions, Foster, Return to Home and Community), Field Services and Animal Control, Care of Animals in the Shelter, and Community Support.

Read more details about the grants and apply here.

The California for All Animals program was originally proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020 to help meet the state’s goal that no healthy or treatable animal be euthanized in a California shelter. It was funded by the legislature last year. Over 80 shelters have received more than $400,000 in grants since the official launch of the program in February. Read more about the history of the program here.

Join Team KSMP as a Facility Use and Design Veterinarian

Note: As of March 3, 2022, applications for this job are no longer being accepted.

Our person

We’re looking for a veterinarian who shares our mission of making change easier for the shelter leaders who are implementing new or expanded visions. You’d be joining the outreach team dedicated to doing that great work, which is often done virtually—through 1:1 video calls or courses in our online learning portal, Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge Learniverse—but likely will include some amount of onsite work as well.  Within that team, we’re looking to expand our facility use, facility design and housing-related offerings, and we’re willing to train the right person if wellness and improved efficiency supported by great design make your heart pitter-patter. 

What your role would look and feel like

Each veterinarian on our current team has an area of interest that, all together, allows us to offer shelters comprehensive consultations. You’ll be on the Facility Design team and, as part of that team, you’ll also contribute to our larger shelter outreach team. You’ll be working closely with our resident facility design expert to round out the aspects of our consultations that address environment-supported wellness encompassing animal, staff and organizational needs. Sometimes your consultations will be in tandem with the larger team; sometimes a shelter may specifically be looking for facility design and housing support. We’re looking for someone who doesn’t mind working alone, in pairs, or as part of a 3–6-person team.

Is this opportunity speaking to YOU?

Do you love working in population health as a veterinarian? Have you experienced the benefits of a well-designed shelter and seen firsthand improved animal well-being with better housing? Were you part of a construction build-out or redesign at your shelter/clinic and recognized the project was hitting all your marks? Or have you always loved architecture and design but weren’t sure how it might intersect with your career as an animal caretaker? We’re open to all kinds of scenarios to find you, including getting creative about where you live and how you might travel with our team when necessary. Don’t be shy: we want to get to know you and hear how your passion for design might be the catalyst to transitioning into a new chapter in your career!

UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Launches $50M Program for Shelter Animals

Spreading the love to ALL on Valentine’s Day.

[The launch event is now available to view below]

California shelters and their communities are invited to join the California for All Animals online launch party on February 14. The kick-off event marks the beginning of a five-year project to improve the lives of at-risk animals in the state and provide much-needed resources to shelters that serve this vulnerable population.  

orange icon of paw inside circle from California for All Animals logo

This unique state-funded initiative was made possible in 2021 when California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed budget legislation that includes $45 million in one-time support for a statewide Animal Shelter Assistance Program, an augmentation to $5 million earmarked earlier that year.  

The initiative – administered by the Koret Shelter Medicine Program (KSMP) at the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health – will provide critical funding for shelters, perform onsite and virtual consultations, and offer expert-led training. The program represents a promise kept and emphasizes the governor’s commitment to help communities realize the state’s long-held policy that “no adoptable or treatable animal should be euthanized.” 

“I pledged that all California communities would have the resources they need to ensure that no healthy or treatable animal dies in a shelter and I have not forgotten, we have not forgotten, that promise,” said Newsom. “Both then and now it’s clear that we must take action to protect the most vulnerable among us.” 

KSMP California State Director Allison Cardona said she knows firsthand from her experience at the largest sheltering system in California that these funds are needed now more than ever. 

“Communities are struggling and shelters are too,” Cardona said. “These funds promise a brighter tomorrow. We’re excited to partner with shelters to find creative solutions within their communities to help keep pets in their homes whenever possible and provide the best care inside the shelter when it’s not.”  

The Valentine’s Day event will include information about joining the program, eligibility, and details about the first round of grants available beginning February 14th.

You can read more about the Animal Shelter Assistance Act. For a history of the governor’s original proposal, see Governor Newsom Proposes a $50M Investment to Help California’s Homeless Animals at Visit California for All Animals to find out more about grants available now. 

To be kept up to date about developments, please sign up for the California for All Animals mailing list.

About UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
In 2000 UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine launched the first shelter medicine program in the world. Since then, the Koret Shelter Medicine Program has moved beyond the basics — how to vaccinate, clean, feed, and handle animals — to guide the whole animal-shelter system. The program offers organizational evaluations, facility design consultations, and online training, all intended to provide practical, cost-effective solutions to improve animal welfare and adoptability.

Apply to Be Our Learning Coordinator

Do you have a passion for helping to create and build online learning communities? Do you love both the people in the animal welfare industry and the animals they are trying to help? Does the idea of being on a small but mighty team dedicated to online learning in this space sound exciting? We have created a brand-new position at the Koret Shelter Medicine Program (KSMP) at the University of California, Davis and we’re looking for someone who wants to help imagine, bring to life, and coordinate A+ learner experiences in the online space.

Black dog reaching from a laptop screen to place her paw in a person's hand

The UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program Learning Coordinator will have their hands on #allthethings in our online learning program and serve as the point person for learners in our brand-new virtual learning world – the Learniverse. From working with our Online Learning Director and Instructional Designer to plan and coordinate all things online learning, to helping our subject matter experts translate their knowledge into the online world, to helping learners engage with this new community and find their way through their coursework, you’ll play a pivotal role in our online learning Learniverse.

We’ll also put your scheduling, organization, group facilitation and engagement skills to work, allowing your superstar-behind-the-scenes abilities to shine and make the Learniverse a place everyone wants to explore and engage with.

If you have awesome communications skills, are a master of online learning best practices, love delving into adult learning theories, are a wizard when it comes to fostering online engagement, super-duper detailed, live for a well-streamlined process, know your way around the back end of an LMS, and love to scale the good in this world, we want to meet you.

Our team is small but impactful and your voice will always be heard. We offer great benefits and promote work-life balance. Your contributions will serve two powerhouse programs, both with big goals and global reach. Ultimate flexibility: This position has the option to be primarily remote with regular opportunities to meet with the team!

Click here to apply by January 24, 2022.