The University of Florida and Operation Catnip—a town-gown partnership that creates a positive relationship, providing access to a humane alternative for the care and management of Alachua County’s community cats. Who benefits? Everyone!
Our Formula for Success
The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine provides surgery space for Operation Catnip to hold monthly surgical sterilization clinics for the county’s free-roaming community cats. Operation Catnip purchases all of the equipment and supplies, and provides the clinic volunteers. In addition, Operation Catnip sponsors veterinarian coaches who teach surgical skills to the University of Florida veterinary student volunteers during every clinic.
By partnering with Operation Catnip, the University of Florida enhances veterinary student training without increasing cost or obligation. Students who participate graduate with:
- More surgical experience than a typical veterinary curriculum provides.
- More hands-on experiences with anesthesia, wound care, physical examinations, surgical prep, post-operative assessment, vaccination administration and intravenous injections.
- More confidence and skill.
The experience and enhanced training that students receive reflects positively on the College of Veterinary Medicine, and its nationwide standing in the profession.
Through its partnership with Operation Catnip, the College of Veterinary Medicine gives back to its host community by providing the surgical facility and on-site storage for equipment and supplies. This allows Operation Catnip to direct more of its resources to services for the cats and their caregivers.
- Surgical sterilization reduces the number of cats and kittens entering the local shelters and lowers cat euthanasia rates.
- Providing rabies vaccines for free-roaming cats impacts public health by protecting people who may encounter community cats.