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Hempstead Town to team up with LIU to aid shelter animals

Future students of LIU Post's veterinary school will

Future students of LIU Post's veterinary school will do clinical training at the Hempstead Animal Shelter.  Credit: Barry Sloan

The Town of Hempstead will partner with LIU Post to train up to 100 veterinarian students at the Hempstead Animal Shelter.

LIU Post’s proposed new veterinarian school will partner with the town starting in September 2019 for on-site clinical training with school vet professors and town staff at the shelter in Wantagh.

LIU is seeking accreditation to build a $40 million College of Veterinary Medicine at its Brookville campus, with a $12 million grant from the governor’s office. The program would offer a four-year doctoral degree as the only veterinary school in New York metro area.

The town board will vote on a memorandum of understanding for the partnership at Tuesday's meeting. 

University and town officials said students would assist in the treatment of dogs and cats in the shelter, and the town’s shelter could also have access to state-of-the-art laboratory equipment at the new veterinary school.

The shelter has a budget about $4 million and has an annual intake of about 1,500 dogs and cats.

“The Town of Hempstead has a real opportunity to vastly expand the care of our shelter animals, without costing the taxpayers a dime,” Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said. “Our shelter animals will be cared for under the watchful eye of some of the leading doctors in the country, while veterinary students receive supervised, hands-on instruction before graduating.”

LIU officials will also provide expert staff, including potentially bringing an animal behaviorist to work with students and care for animals, university officials said. 

Officials said the school would meet a shortage of veterinarians and vet schools in the country. There are 30 veterinary colleges in the country and only three in the Northeast, with the closest in Philadelphia and Cornell.

“This allows us to collaborate on where we can be helpful and allows our students to work with faculty to learn in real world conditions in the largest municipal animal shelter on Long Island,” LIU spokesman Jon Schneider said.

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