“I went to work in Montana with the AmeriCorps program Montana Conservation Corps, travelled a lot with the job and couldn’t have a dog,” she said. “Thus I started volunteering at the local shelter”.
“My first impression was that it seemed broken – animals come in, if they aren’t reclaimed or adopted, they’re euthanised – simply because they ended up in the shelter. This sparked my interest in shelters.”
Karsten and her partner (now husband) moved to Alaska to work as bike guides, but she continued to be involved with homeless animals.
“I decided to go to vet school – so after three years we moved to Anchorage so that I could take some classes that I needed to apply to vet school.”
Karsten spent the next two years working at a veterinary specialist clinic while volunteering with a rescue group. In 2006, she was accepted into veterinary school in Madison, Wisconsin.
“I had thought that I would go to vet school and then would work in a shelter. However, Sandra Newbury, who was with UC Davis at the time, was living in Madison and working with vet students so opened my eyes to the possibilities in terms of working with shelters.”
Fast forward almost a decade and Cindy Karsten, DVM, is one of a growing number of veterinarians specialising in Shelter Medicine. In June 2014, the American Veterinary Medical Association granted provisional recognition to the Shelter Medicine Practice specialty within the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Continue reading Face to Face: Cindy Karsten, shelter veterinarian