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Classified in: Health
Subjects: NPT, PET, ANW

PetSmart Charities' Steve Marton Scholarship Offers $150,000 to Veterinary Students

Now open for applications, the scholarships will help alleviate overwhelming debt for veterinary students committed to providing accessible veterinary care options in underserved communities.

PHOENIX, Feb. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- PetSmart Charities, the nation's leading funder of animal welfare, opened applications today for its 2023 Steve Marton Veterinary Scholarships. Current second- or third-year veterinary students attending a college of veterinary medicine in the U.S. have until March 27, 2023 to apply for the scholarship, which will provide three veterinary students up to $50,000 for one year's tuition. The recipients will be announced by mid-May.

PetSmart Charities has pledged to break down barriers to veterinary care with a recent commitment of $100 million over the next five years, with the Steve Marton Scholarship being one important component. The scholarship serves as a meaningful step toward alleviating student debt for those who are committed to delivering care in under-resourced communities.

"Veterinary care in the U.S. is in crisis, with a severe shortage of veterinarians creating a cascade of challenges for current providers and pet parents alike," said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. "The mounting cost associated with vet school creates a barrier for students who want to help pets and their families, especially those who can support underserved communities. This scholarship is just one way we're committed to improving access to veterinary care in this country, by helping students enter veterinary practice with less student debt."

Many veterinary students graduate with debt exceeding $200,000. A recent study* shows that stress and student debt remain leading concerns for veterinarians, and the overall shortage in the profession continues to increase. This not only contributes to burnout within the field but also makes it harder for pet parents to get appointments and influences the rising costs of care. All these factors have converged and account for 50 million pets in the U.S. receiving no veterinary care.

For Giulia Lanza-Billetta, a 2022 recipient, the Steve Marton Veterinary Scholarship lifted a huge financial burden off her shoulders so she could focus on her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. After graduation, Lanza-Billetta plans to work for a nonprofit or emergency vet in a low-income area and hopes to eventually start her own nonprofit to offer low-cost veterinary programs in low-income areas and eventually offer internships to others entering the field to foster their growth.

"Receiving this scholarship has completely changed my life," said Lanza-Billetta. "It has taken such a big weight off my shoulders because I know that financially I will be able to graduate with significantly less debt than I had previously anticipated. It is extremely comforting to know that when I graduate, I can go directly into working in low-income areas and not have to worry about being in debt for many years to come."

Scholarship applications are open through March 27, 2023. For more information or to apply visit: https://petsmartcharities.org/pro/grants/steve-marton-scholarship

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps up to 600,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. PetSmart Charities' grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crises with access to food, shelter and disaster response. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at PetSmartCharities.org, while shopping at PetSmart.com, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row ? placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.

*American Veterinary Medical Association Veterinary Wellbeing study, fall 2021

SOURCE PetSmart Charities

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