University of Florida unveils graduate certificate in animal shelter leadership


Online courses will better inform animal care professionals on the responsibilities involved

The University of Florida now provides a graduate certificate in animal shelter leadership created for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal control officers, shelter operations staff, and other industry professionals. It informs them on the responsibilities so they can successfully lead, manage, raise funds, market, and coordinate shelter operations (eg, animal control, adoptions, fosters, and infectious disease control).

“Leaders of animal shelters have responsibilities that are unique to the profession of animal welfare,” says Terry Spencer, DVM, MEd, director of the online shelter medicine program, in a university release.1 “For example, they might need to enforce and modify local animal-control ordinances, communicate with both elected officials and appointed boards, collaborate with state public health officials and maintain excellent community relations so that adequate funds, volunteers, and staff are always available to support the life-saving mission of the animal shelter.”

“These are crucial practices for successful management of stray and rescue animal populations, which is vital to community public health,” Spencer added.

The graduate certificate is a part of the animal welfare and forensic studies offered by the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, which is an interdisciplinary partnership of UF’s colleges of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Liberal Arts and Sciences. It can be achieved in as little as 1 year.


University of Florida offers online graduate certificate in animal shelter leadership. News release. University of Florida. November 18, 2022. Accessed December 12, 2022.

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