BY MARY WICOFF
DANVILLE — Dogs at the Humane Society of Danville, 1225 N. Collett, are sleeping a bit more soundly these nights.
The Illinois Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois delivered 27 Kuranda dog beds to the humane society recently. Student members of the club delivered and put together the beds.
The humane society has been working to improve conditions for its animals, and launched a fundraising program in October with the goal of procuring 30 beds by Christmas.
Kuranda beds are designed to make kennels more comfortable for the dogs by elevating them off the concrete.
Shawn Miller, director of the society, said of the help, “It’s great. It was definitely appreciated.”
Miller said Dr. Bob Weedon has been bringing his students to Danville to spay and neuter dogs and cats. They come about every two weeks, if they can, and get the animals ready for adoption. An animal that’s already spayed or neutered has a greater chance of being adopted.
Miller gave a flyer to Weedon about the society’s efforts to raise money to buy beds, and the doctor gave the flyer to his students.
When the students heard about the project, the humane society had already raised enough money for three dog beds. The students quickly used social media to collect the rest — 27 beds, for a total of 30 dog beds.
Now that the shelter has enough dog beds, Miller said he wants to get beds for the cats; he has 10 and needs 17 more.
The students are soliciting additional funds for cat beds for the humane society, as well as dog beds for other needy area shelters through its website.
Are the dogs using the beds?
Miller said, “The dogs were hopping right up there and started using them right away. The students were tickled by that.
“That makes their legwork worth it.”
He said the dogs normally use the cots during the day. Also, the beds are supposed to be difficult, if not impossible, to destroy, but one dog is challenging that claim already.
The student-humane society collaboration is an example of the U of I-community partnership that exists to help both the institution and the public. Fourth-year veterinary students who are ISCASV members sterilize animals at the society under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. This program gives the students experiential training in shelter medicine, and benefits the community by combating overpopulation through sterilization of animals prior to adoption.
The Illinois Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of animals in shelters through the advancement of shelter medicine. They do this by giving veterinary students opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience with shelter medicine through community events and educational opportunities.
To make a donation to buy cat and dog beds, go to the website http://vetmed.illinois.edu/sheltermed