Veterinary College Presents Dogwash, Adoptathon

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 26, 2003 – Some dogs will get spiffed up and others will find new homes during a weekend "Dogwash" and "Adoptathon" presented at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) at Virginia Tech on Saturday, Oct. 4.

"Family Pet Adoption Day '03 - A Cause for Paws" will be held on the lawn from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the VMRCVM.

The community "Dogwash" event will be held at the rear of the veterinary college complex from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Presented semi-annually by DVM students enrolled in the VMRCVM, the "Dogwash" is always a popular community event. Dogs can be bathed and towel-dried for $10.00. Nail-trimming and ear cleaning is $5.00 extra. Animals will be washed on a first-come, first-served basis and no appointments are necessary. Dogs will be washed while owners wait. Dogs must be on a leash, and be at least five months old with current vaccinations.

No dogs participating in the "Dogwash" event should be allowed in the vicinity of the "Adoptathon" event because of infection control concerns, according to the organizers.

Several local animal welfare organizations are teaming with students in the VMRCVM to present the second annual "Adoptathon." More than 40 dogs and cats are currently in the custody and care of a variety of area shelters and adoption organizations will be on site.

The "Adoptathon" is designed to help find new owners for homeless animals and raise awareness of the animal overpopulation issue, said Marie Suthers-McCabe, director of the Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR).

"Millions of unwanted animals are euthanized every year in shelters around the country," Suthers-McCabe said. "But shelters and organizations around the country are beginning to make a difference by helping locate homes for unwanted animals and by encouraging spay-neuter and responsible ownership."

DVM students from the VMRCVM will evaluate the health and condition of participating animals and interview prospective owners in an effort to match family lifestyles with animal characteristics.

All of the animals looking for new homes will be spayed or neutered, be current on immunizations against infectious diseases and be free of obvious abnormalities at the time of examination. VMRCVM veterinary students will conduct complete physical examinations on all animals and a health record will be attached.

The students will also administer adoption questionnaires to prospective owners and make recommendations to the custodial sheltering organization about the suitability of prospective matches. The humane organizations will then check references and conduct home visitations prior to placing the animal. No animals will be allowed to go home with their new families on the day of the event and there will be an adoption fee for all animals.

The Assisi Clinics of Virginia, Inc., a non-profit charitable organization that works to resolve the animal overpopulation crisis by offering free and low-cost animal spay and neutering services through mobile veterinary surgical clinics and conducting public information campaigns, will also be on site during the day. The public will also have an opportunity to tour the Angels of Assisi Spay Shuttle and Adoption Trailer.

The "Adoptathon" is sponsored by CENTAUR in the VMRCVM and several other organizations, including Pound Pals of Radford, Floyd County Humane Society, Virginia PAWS (Virginia Partnership for Animal Welfare and Support), Dalmation Rescue of Southwest Virginia, Petsafe, Star City Greyhound Adoptions and Assisi Clinics of Virginia.

Further information about the "Adoptathon" is available by contacting Lynn Chipkin at or Lila Borge Wills at Information is also available at 540-651-4530.

The "Dogwash" is sponsored by the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA), a professional organization for DVM students. Proceeds will benefit SCAVMA and the classes of 2006 and 2007.

Further information about the "Dogwash" is available by e-mailing Leti Hansen at or Megan Kennedy at