WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University is getting a boost for its mobile surgery unit. The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust in Indianapolis has awarded the school a $150,000 grant for its Priority 4 Paws shelter medicine program. The university says the funding will enhance the unit’s service-learning initiatives in partnership with animal shelters in Marion County.
Purdue says P4P combines community service with education by providing learning experiences for fourth-year veterinary students. The unit travels throughout the state to help animal shelters by spaying and neutering shelter animals and gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on surgical experience.
P4P is led by Dr. Emily Curry, visiting assistant professor of mobile surgery and shelter medicine at Purdue, and Dr. Natalie Bullard, clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine. Curry, who began her position in February, is a Purdue graduate who took part in the program as a student.
In May 2019, P4P began partnerships with IndyHumane and FACE Low Cost Animal Clinic in Indianapolis, which Curry says has increased the number of animals the unit is able to serve, but also provides mentorship opportunities for students with veterinarians at both organizations.
Curry says the units connections with Indianapolis is what attracted the funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
“This grant will be used to support our involvement in shelter medicine in Indianapolis by funding a day-long spay and neuter event in April of 2020, as well as going towards operational costs for the P4P mobile surgery unit to travel to our Indianapolis partner shelters and perform needed spay and neuter surgeries,” Curry said in a news release. “The funding also will provide for financial support to help veterinary students cover expenses associated with living in Indianapolis for a week when they work at the shelters as part of their Off Campus Experience.”
Since 2012, the unit has served about 16,000 animals in Indiana.