Student helps procure grant for Operation Catnip

Sandy Macarthur

Fourth-year UF veterinary student Sandy Macarthur applied for and received a grant from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to support Operation Catnip.

Thanks to the efforts of UF fourth-year veterinary student Sandy MacArthur, Operation Catnip’s local volunteer veterinarians and veterinary students were recently honored by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

MacArthur successfully applied for a $4,500 grant offered through the AVMF’s “Our Oath in Action” program to support the efforts of Operation Catnip, a UF-based trap-neuter-return program through which cats trapped by local caregivers receive spay/neuter services and other medical procedures.

“The grant funded a large portion of the cost to operate the clinic, which costs around $8,500 to operate each month,” said Dr. Julie Levy, co-founder of Operation Catnip and a professor of shelter medicine with the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine program at UF.

Levy said approximately 170 local cats were helped during the Oct. 11 clinic for which the funding is designated. Approximately 20 veterinary students were able to enhance their surgical knowledge and skills by performing actual spays and neuters under the supervision of skilled veterinary surgeons.

“The entire veterinary community of Alachua County was invited to participate,” Levy said.

In addition to Levy, area veterinarians who participated in the clinic included UF small animal surgery residents Dr. Alex Fox-AlvarezĀ  and Dr. Ana Bascunan; Dr. Charles Baker of Ocala Veterinary Hospital; Dr. Deborah Cottrell and Dr. Fred Schirmer of West End Animal Hospital; Dr. Tracie Daniels of Suwannee Paws, Live Oak; Dr. Zakia Diaz Goodwin of the college’s department of infectious diseases and pathology; Dr. Brian DiGangi, a clinical assistant professor with UF’s Veterinary Community Outreach Program; Dr. Patti Gordon of All Cats Healthcare Clinic of Gainesville; Dr. Jessica Van Scyoc of Newman Equine, Cocoa.

The Oath in Action program began in 2008 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The program supports members of the veterinary profession taking their expertise in medical and service to animals through volunteer opportunities in their community.



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