Module 1: Introduction


Julie K. Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine Practice)

Dr. Julie Levy is the Fran Marino Endowed Distinguished Professor of Shelter Medicine Education at the University of Florida, where she focuses on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, and humane alternatives for cat population control. She founded Operation Catnip, a nonprofit university-based community cat trap-neuter-return program that has spayed, neutered, and vaccinated more than 70,000 cats in Gainesville since 1998. In 2008, she joined Dr. Cynda Crawford to found Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, an educational and discovery initiative with a global impact on the care of homeless animals. In 2014, she joined Dr. Kate Hurley to launch the Million Cat Challenge, a shelter-based campaign that saved more than 3.5 million cats in shelters across North America. In 2022, she helped launch Maddie’s Million Pet Challenge to create transformative “communities of practice” that deliver access to care through humane, community-centric programming—inside and outside of the shelter—to achieve the right outcome for every pet.

Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD

Dr. Cynda Crawford is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Fredrica Saltzman Endowed Professorship Chair in Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida. Dr. Crawford’s expertise includes diagnosis, management, and prevention of infectious diseases in dogs and cats in sheltering facilities. Her current focus is tracking and responding to respiratory disease outbreaks and the development of creative interventions that support the recovery of affected animals while halting the spread of infection. Accomplishments include co-discovery of  canine influenza virus and contribution to the development and validation of canine influenza vaccines, diagnostic assays, and disease prevention protocols that have been adopted worldwide.

Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine Practice)

Dr. Brenda Griffin is an adjunct clinical associate professor at the University of Florida. A pioneer in Shelter Medicine, she has contributed to the development of academic training and research programs across the country. Her professional interests focus on shelter animal behavior and welfare, population health and wellness, feline medicine, and strategies to prevent animals from entering shelters including behavioral wellness, identification, and sterilization programs. In 2000, she co-founded the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs. She has also served on the Association of Shelter Veterinarians task forces that developed foundational guidelines for standards of care in animal shelters and spay-neuter programs and chairs the Fear Free Shelters task force. Dr. Griffin led a decade-long process for the development of standards for specialization and residency training, culminating in the establishment of the newly recognized specialty in Shelter Medicine Practice in the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, for which she currently serves as Regent.


The authors are grateful to our instructional designer Ariel Gunn and our educational programs manager Chrissy Sedgley for their tireless contributions to this beautiful interactive textbook. We are appreciative of our always gracious colleagues in the tightknit and generous community of Shelter Medicine for sharing their insights and wisdom. And we are thankful to Maddie’s Fund for supporting the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and making this book possible.



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Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems Copyright © 2020 by University of Florida is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.