Veterinary Community Outreach Program (VCOP)
All heartworm treatments and most spay/neuter surgeries are at UF’s Veterinary Community Outreach program at the Small Animal Hospital (detailed directions below).
Dogs should be at the vet school at 9:00 A.M. for heartworm treatments. They can be dropped off and left for the rest of the day if needed, or you can wait and take them back home after the shot (about 15 minutes). If your foster dog will be staying, we need to know in advance so we can request a kennel. For spay/neuter appointments, the dog should be at shelter medicine between 8:00-8:30 A.M. Please DO NOT be late — it messes up the schedule for everyone!
VCOP staff require that a rescue rep – usually Blanca – be present every time a foster drops off or picks up a dog, in order to reduce confusion. Please call or text Blanca when you arrive and wait for her in the parking lot. The veterinarians deal with dozens of animals every week and we need to keep things as clear as possible so they can continue to help as many animals as possible.
Dogs who are having spay/neuter or other surgeries (any procedure requiring general anesthesia) should have no food after 10:00 P.M. the night before the procedure. The exception is young puppies, who should have a small meal in the morning. All dogs can have water without restriction. For dogs receiving heartworm treatments, no special preparation is needed prior to the shot, although you will receive guidelines for after care.
Please click HERE for detailed information regarding heartworm treatment. Please follow these instructions very carefully, and also heed any additional instructions provided by the vets and/or rescue reps. Heartworm treatment can be a matter of life and death if you do not follow guidelines, especially about exercise restrictions.
Directions to VCOP
- From the corner of SW 13th Street and SW 16th Avenue, head west on SW 16th Avenue.
- Follow SW 16th Avenue past UF Health Shands to Shealy Drive (there is a stoplight there and you will see ShandsCair on your right and the UF Small Animal Hospital on your left).
- Turn left on Shealy Drive.
- Follow Shealy Drive for about a block. You will pass the UF Small Animal Hospital on your left and UF Large Animal Sciences on your right.
- Turn left into the small parking lot that is across from Large Animal Sciences, on the southwest side of the small animal hospital.
- There are a few metered spaces outside and a sign at the door that says “Veterinary Community Outreach”.
If you are meeting a rescue rep there, please wait in the parking lot with your dog. If you are going for a 2nd or 3rd heartworm shot and do not need a rep, you can go in, but please follow any instructions they give you — e.g., if they ask you to wait outside while they finish with another dog.
For more information, please read these guidelines from the vet school: Clinic-Information-Sheet