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NWRA Wildlife Medicine Course
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Program Description

The purpose of the NWRA Wildlife Medicine Course is to provide an opportunity for professional students in accredited veterinary schools to gain formal training in medicine, surgery, and captive management of native wildlife species.

The NWRA Wildlife Medicine Course curriculum consists of a two–day (weekend) seminar with both didactic and hands–on training via wet labs. The sponsoring veterinary schools provide supplies needed for the wet labs, and lunch and refreshments for the course attendees. A course manual is provided at no additional cost to the participants. This manual consists of a >400–page compilation of peer–reviewed information provided in electronic format, as well as handouts corresponding to the lecture materials.

In order to provide the most practical information possible in just a two–day course, the course emphasis is on care of animals brought to private practices (emergency and/or medical care), with a more general overview of the various aspects of the rehabilitation process.

  • The lectures on the first day of the course place emphasis on the legalities and ethics of wildlife rehabilitation, the role of the veterinarian when working with the rehabilitator, and emergency stabilization of the patient. The lectures on the second day expose the students to specific diseases, diagnostic procedures, and treatment regimens for the wildlife patient.
  • The lab portion of the course provides extensive hands–on opportunities on the first day, and a “self–test” format on day two, allowing students to apply what they see and hear in the lectures that weekend.
  • A certificate of attendance is provided to students upon completion of the course.
  • Click here for a copy of the Annotated Course Agenda.

Courses Taught

  • The University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, in January 2000
  • The University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, in January 2000 and December 2007
  • The University of Wisconsin–Madison, College of Veterinary Medicine, in March 2000 and February 2007
  • Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in Dec 2000 and Nov 2009
  • The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in 2001
  • Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College, in November 2001 and March 2010
  • Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, in 2001
  • Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in 2002
  • The Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, in April 2004
  • University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, in April 2006 and 2008
  • Oklahoma State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, in March 2008
  • Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, SK, in September 2008
  • Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, in April 2009
  • University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, in April 2010
  • North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, in August 2010
  • Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, in March 2012
  • Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, in September 2013
  • Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, in November 2013

NWRA WMC Instructors for 2008-2015

Elizabeth Daut 

Elizabeth received a BS in Biology from Virginia Tech and graduated vet school from Cornell University. She began a two–year veterinary fellowship at the Wildlife Center of Virginia in July 2008 following two years working at a small animal practice in Vermont.  For most of the previous 10 years, Elizabeth worked in Ecuador, initially as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching at a local vet school. During her second year in Ecuador, Elizabeth started a humane society called the Fundación de Protección Animal (Animal Protection Foundation), for which she served as president and veterinarian. Elizabeth’s work in Ecuador ranged from running a low–cost sterilization clinic to combating illegal wildlife trade as a wildlife inspector for the environmental ministry.  Elizabeth has been working with wildlife rehabilitation since she was an undergraduate student.  She has a strong interest in returning to South America to teach wildlife and conservation medicine.  She hopes to begin a PhD studying wildlife disease ecology in 2010. 

Cheryl Hoggard  

Dr. Hoggard has a BA from East Carolina University and was the Nursery Supervisor and Educational Outreach Programs Coordinator at the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter before returning to school to earn her DVM from North Carolina State University. During veterinary school she continued her interest in wildlife medicine and completed externships at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, the Wildlife Clinic at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), Tri–State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc., and the Wildlife Center of Virginia. She later completed a post–doctoral internship in wildlife medicine and surgery at CROW. She was Staff Veterinarian at Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute, Inc., in Jonas Ridge, North Carolina, and helped to establish the Piedmont Wildlife Center in Durham, North Carolina, as Hospital Director and Staff Veterinarian. She is an adjunct professor at NCSU–CVM where she teaches a class in wild bird medicine as well as the clinical rotation in wildlife medicine. Dr. Hoggard is a member of the NWRA Board of Directors and Chair of the Veterinary Committee.

John Huckabee  

Dr. Huckabee holds BS degrees in Zoology and in Veterinary Science and received his DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University in 1985. He has been Staff Wildlife Veterinarian with Progressive Animal Welfare Society’s Wildlife Department in Lynnwood, Washington, since 1998. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest he was Director and Staff Veterinarian of the Wildlife Center of Harris County Precinct 4 in southeast Texas from 1991 to 1998. While in Texas, Dr. Huckabee was actively involved on wildlife advisory committees and task forces for Harris County, the City of Houston, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and on the Zoological Medicine Advisory Panel at Texas A&M University. He is currently serving on the Advisory Committee of the Pierce College Veterinary Technology Program and the Zoonotic Disease Steering Committing of the Washington Department of Health. Dr. Huckabee served on the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association from 1995 to 2003, and continues to serve on the Finance, Human Resources, and Veterinary Committees.

Dave McRuer 

Dr. McRuer is from East Gore, Nova Scotia, Canada and has a long–time interest in population biology/ecology, natural history and wildlife medicine. He obtained a BS in Biology at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick (1999), and then a MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario (2001). From 2001–2005, Dave attended the Atlantic Veterinary College and acquired his veterinary degree. After graduating, he conducted an internship in Zoological Medicine, Exotics, and Wildlife from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2005–2006). Dave took a residency training position with the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) in July 2006 where he is specialized in Preventative Medicine/Veterinary Public Health. In August 2007, Dave became the Director of Veterinary Services at WCV. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and his research interests include zoonotic disease, infectious diseases of wildlife, and avian medicine and surgery.

Erica Miller  

Dr. Miller received a BS in Zoology and DVM from Oklahoma State University. Her teaching experience includes a staff position teaching clinical surgery at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and adjunct faculty positions in Wildlife Medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. As a wildlife rehabilitator, Dr. Miller was staff veterinarian at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Illinois, and Director of Rehabilitation at the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in North Carolina. She is currently the staff veterinarian at Tri–State Bird Rescue and Research, Inc. in Newark, Delaware, where she specializes in rehabilitation of wildlife injured as a result of oil spills. She serves on the Endangered and Non–game Species Advisory Committee for the state of New Jersey and the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Oiled Wildlife Care Network of California. Dr. Miller served on the Board of Directors for NWRA for 16 years, serving as a Vice President, Secretary, Chair of the Standards Committee, President–Elect, President, and Past–President.

Stuart Porter 

Dr. Porter has a BS in Biology from Washington and Lee University and a VMD from the University of Pennsylvania. Formerly the resident veterinarian at the Memphis and Gladys Porter Zoos, Dr. Porter is currently professor of Veterinary Technology and program coordinator at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia (1979–present). Dr. Porter was co–founder and Director of Wildlife Services at Wildlife Center of Virginia (1982–1995) and serves on the adjunct faculty at the Virginia–Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Porter received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) in 1987, the Significant Achievement Award from the NWRA in 1995, and the Technology in Education Award from the VCCS in 2000. Dr. Porter is a past member of the NWRA Board of Directors and served as a Vice President; he continues to be an active member of the Veterinary Committee.

Karen Shenoy

Dr. Shenoy has a BS in Veterinary Science and DVM from the University of Minnesota. She currently works full–time as a Practice Development Veterinarian for Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. She also works occasional hours as a Staff Veterinarian for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC) in Roseville, MN. Dr. Shenoy has been involved with WRC since 1997 and worked full–time as Staff Veterinarian and Nurseries Director from 2004 to 2008. During veterinary school, she sought out as many opportunities to work with wildlife species as possible, completing elective rotations at the following institutions: Minnesota Zoological Gardens, The Raptor Center, Tri–State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc., the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, and the Wildlife Center of Virginia. She also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, where she lectures to veterinary students about wildlife medicine. She has taught several courses as part of a local veterinary technology program and is a member of the NWRA Veterinary Committee, the editor of the third volume of Topics in Wildlife Medicine, and a past member of the NWRA Board of Directors.