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Shelter Medicine: A Passion for Shelter Work'and for Cats

In this introductory column, our new veterinary columnist, Dr. Brenda Griffin, tells of her pioneering pursuit into shelter medicine, and how listening to her heart changed her life.

Animal Sheltering welcomes our new veterinary columnist, Dr. Brenda Griffin

Griffin examines a cat during a trip to a New York state shelter. STEPHANIE JANECZKO
Hello, fellow Animal Sheltering readers! I was very excited and honored to be invited to contribute to a magazine I love to read and from which I have learned so much. The editorial staff suggested I introduce myself to you in my first column, and I’m happy to do so.

Firstly, if I were talking instead of writing, you would appreciate my thick Southern accent. I grew up in Columbia, S.C., and this is where my experience with animal shelters began.

I like to laughingly tell people, “Brenda wasn’t like the other kids!” because it is really true! While other kids were off playing sports or taking dance lessons and the like, at 12, I started spending my spare time volunteering for our family vet. “Doc” did some work with the local SPCA and a local spay/neuter group as well, and I became a junior member of both organizations (the only junior member, as I recall). Yes, while the soccer moms dropped kids off at the ball field, I was dropped off at SPCA meetings.

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