Campus News Georgia Impact

Blank Foundation helps fund UGA mobile vet clinic

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine shelter medicine specialist Dr. Staci Cannon and then-fourth year veterinary student Helen Jones check on a cat who recently had surgery while volunteering at the Athens Area Humane Society in 2022.

Foundation’s $750K pledge will help train students and improve animal welfare

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has pledged $750,000 in support of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine’s shelter medicine program. The gift will allow the college to acquire a mobile veterinary clinic to train students and promote companion animal welfare throughout the state.

“We are very grateful to the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation for their generous support of UGA’s shelter medicine program,” said Dr. Lisa K. Nolan, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “This gift will allow us to support communities and shelters throughout the state by offering preventive care, medical procedures, and selected surgical services through a new mobile vet clinic, while also broadening the education of Georgia’s future veterinarians.”

College of Veterinary Medicine shelter medicine specialist Dr. Staci Cannon performs a checkup on a dog while volunteering at the Athens Area Humane Society.

The shelter medicine program launched in the early 2000s and was bolstered in 2021 through significant private gifts. Two faculty members were recruited to teach fourth-year veterinary students on rotations at the Athens Area Humane Society. Annually, more than 50 students perform and assist with some 2,500 procedures ranging from spay and neuter operations to infectious disease prevention to benign or cancerous lump removals for shelter dogs and cats.

The Blank Foundation’s pledge is the lead gift of a comprehensive fundraising plan by UGA CVM to support the shelter medicine program for years to come.

UGA CVM is Georgia’s only veterinary college. Established in 1946, CVM not only educates future veterinarians but provides primary, specialized and emergency care to small and large animals from Georgia and other states.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a philanthropy founded to help transform lives and communities by uniting people across differences to find common cause. Started in 1995 by Arthur M. Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot, the foundation has granted more than $1 billion to charitable causes, centered mostly around Atlanta and Montana.

Their collective giving areas are Atlanta’s Westside, Democracy, Environment, Mental Health and Well-Being, and Youth Development. In addition to the priority areas of giving, the foundation oversees a large portfolio of grants including support of essential Atlanta nonprofit institutions, such as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Shepherd Center, and enduring founder-led initiatives, such as veterans and the military and stuttering, among others.

To support the shelter medicine program, please contact Michelle Jones, regional director of development, at 256-452-3772 or