PetSmart Charities has announced that it has earmarked more than $500,000 in scholarship funds for students attending 21 North American veterinary programs. PetSmart hopes that the scholarships will boost student interest in shelter medicine and the human-animal bond. Since 2015, the nonprofit group has awarded more than $6 million in veterinary scholarship funds, and its financial commitment to the veterinary community continues to grow with this new initiative.
Each institution will be awarded up to four $1,000 scholarships to distribute to veterinary students with an interest in shelter medicine or the human-animal bond, a $5,000 grant to support a student-led research project, and a $1,000 travel grant for the student researchers to attend a major animal welfare conference to present their findings.
PetSmart Charities will also fund a student ambassador position at each veterinary institution. The ambassadors will receive an honorarium of $750 per semester. Ambassadors are expected to promote the program and convince their peers to participate in upcoming community events (pet food drives, adoption fairs, etc). They will also have access to funding to host events and produce marketing materials to increase engagement in their community.