Nonprofit launches veterinary technician scholarship fund


Petco Love and Penn Foster hopes to tackle the veterinary technician shortage by providing financial help to technicians

S Fanti/

S Fanti/

Much like the veterinarian shortage, veterinary technicians and hospital staff can feel the need for more credentialed technicians. A study from by Mars Veterinary Health conducted by James Lyod, DVM, PhD, consultant at Animal Health Economics and the former dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine found that by 2030, an estimated 132, 885 additional credentialled technicians will be needed.1,2

To help alleviate this shortage and put more veterinary technicians in the workforce, Petco Love launched the Petco Love Registered Veterinary Technician Scholarship Fund with Penn Foster. The scholarship fund hopes to increase the number of registered veterinary technicians entering the shelter medicine space to serve vulnerable pets, such as those in animal shelters, or whose owners are struggling financially.

"It's exciting when career advancement and passion go hand-in-hand — that's why we are excited to partner with Petco Love and offer the animal welfare community educational and training support through this scholarship program," stated Stacy Caldwell, Penn Foster general manager, in an organizational release.1 "Penn Foster's online Veterinary Technician Associate Degree program has full accreditation with the American Veterinary Medical Association, meaning that learners can pursue a veterinary technician career after passing the [Veterinary Technician National Examination]. Improving accessible care for all pets starts with training their caretakers."

According to the release, the Petco Love RVT Scholarship Fund at Penn Foster will work to close the gap in the nonprofit veterinary workforce shortage through supporting 100 candidates currently working within an animal welfare organization working toward becoming a credentialed veterinary technician.1 Submitted applications will be made by the municipal or nonprofit animal sheltering organizations or clinics to Petco Love. Once finishing the program, the associates will be eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Those within the program will continue to work in the field for the duration of taking the course and at least 2 years prior to receiving the certification.

Along with its work to address the veterinary technician shortage in shelter medicine, Petco Love invested in the University of Florida Shelter medicine program to help increase the amount of shelter veterinarians across the country by through a $510,000 grant to fund training programs.3 The nonprofit also partnered with the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine by investing $665,000 to create a community outreach veterinarian program to address the access to care in Baton Rouge through a new mobile clinic and a new faculty position.4

Anyone interested can visit the Petco Love website to learn more.


  1. Petco Love launches new nonprofit veterinary technician scholarship fund. News release. Petco Love. March 5, 2024. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  2. McReynolds T. The looming vet tech shortage: Yes, it could get worse. Published March 11, 2022.
  3. National Nonprofit Petco Love invests in UF Shelter Medicine Program to increase shelter veterinarians amid national shortage. News release. Petco Love. January 18, 2023. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  4. New Petco Love and LSU community veterinary outreach program supports pets and the Baton Rouge Community. Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. February 9, 2024. Accessed March 6, 2024.
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