Module 8: The Case of the Spay-Neuter Skeptic

Opportunities to Master Spay-Neuter Skills

Ready to sharpen your spay-neuter skills? There are many opportunities for veterinary students to gain surgical experience necessary to be practice-ready for the spay-neuter suite on graduation day. Externships, clerkships, and service-learning travel provide hands-on opportunities in which students practice every step of the process from admission to surgery to discharge under the watchful eye of a skilled mentor. Additionally, volunteer opportunities may exist with your local humane society, HQHVSN clinic, or municipal shelter.

Training is also available for practicing veterinarians, surgical teams, and practice managers at the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance in Asheville, North Carolina. The ASPCA also maintains a comprehensive website with time-tested medical protocols, training videos, and practice tips and offers support for opening new clinics and on-site consultations to refine operations.


Hands-On Training Programs for HQHVSN


Veterinart technicians prepare anesthetized dogs for spay-neuter surgery

ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance for Veterinary Students

ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance is a traditional favorite externship for students from across the country. Not only does it boast a world-renown training program designed specifically for junior/senior veterinary students, but it has on-site dorms and is located in beautiful Asheville NC. It’s no surprise that spots in this coveted program fill up years in advance, so it’s never too early to sign up.   Read more . . .


Thumbnail image of veterinary surgeons operating of dogs at the HSUS Rural Animal Veterinary Services clinic

HSUS Rural Animal Veterinary Services

RAVS has opportunities for students at all training levels depending on their skill. RAVS is a non-profit veterinary outreach program combining community service and veterinary education to bring free veterinary services to underserved rural communities where poverty and geographic isolation make regular veterinary care inaccessible, often on Native American reservations and international locations. BEWARE – RAVS trips are addictive and volunteer spots fill up quickly.   Read more . . .


A row of surgeons spay cats at the Operation Catnip clinic

Operation Catnip of Gainesville

Operation Catnip is a free spay-neuter clinic for community cats in Alachua County. Each month, volunteers spay and neuter approximately 200 cats in a single day. There are valuable training opportunities for students of all skill levels, including performing anesthesia, surgical preparation, venipuncture, vaccination, recovery, and of course . . . surgery.   Read more . . .


A group of veterinary srudents in caps, masks, and gloves stand ready for surgery.

Veterinary School Rotations, Clubs, and Social Networks

You don’t have to travel far to find HQHVSN training opportunities. Veterinary students can check out their school’s clinical rotations and clubs such as the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Veterinarians can network through professional associations and social media groups devotes to HQHVSN.


Veterinary student listens to the heart of a tabby kitten with a stethoscope

Externships for Veterinary Students

A variety of spay-neuter externships at animal shelters and HQHVSN clinics provide hands-on experience in a mentored environment.   Read more . . .


Thumbnail images representing training programs in spay-neuter

Veterinarians, Surgical Teams, and Practice Managers

In addition to student externships, the ASPCA offers hands-on training for veterinarians and veterinary teams. The ASPCA also provides HQHVSN clinic start-up consultation and hosts training videos, protocols, and checklists on a website devoted exclusively to HQHVSN.   Read more . . .


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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.