OVC Pet Trust - Medical & Surgical Learning Centre | Alumni | University of Guelph

OVC Pet Trust - Medical & Surgical Learning Centre


Woman with dog

Finding Hope When You Need It Most

Imagine coming home to find your beloved pet in dire need of medical help. That’s what happened to Carina Mewasingh when she discovered that her three-year-old Dutch Shepherd, Perseus, had ingested a potentially fatal amount of over-the-counter medication while she was out of the house.

Perseus was referred to the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) by his primary care veterinarian, who knew that Perseus’ accidental overdose could result in kidney failure, neurological and gastrointestinal complications, or even death.

Thankfully, with around-the-clock care from the dedicated veterinary team, Perseus’ condition stabilized. His seizures subsided and his vision returned. In the weeks that followed, he received physiotherapy to help him regain his strength and normal neurological function.

OVC, with the invaluable help of OVC Pet Trust, cares for hundreds of animals with complex medical needs like Perseus every year. We provide hope and expertise when pet owners need it most. This is our privilege and our calling. Still, there are always more animals who need our help, and this means we must train more veterinarians to keep up with the increased demands on the profession.



Ontario is facing a crisis in veterinary care. A province-wide shortage of veterinarians began long before COVID-19 and intensified during the pandemic as pet adoptions spiked.  Veterinarians are managing increasingly complex cases and growing patient numbers, leading to stress and burnout.  

Due to chronic staffing shortages, some veterinary hospitals in underserved regions are simply closing – a disaster for the affected communities. In Northern Ontario, many people experience limited access to companion animal care. Emergency clinics can no longer stay open 24/7, and pet owners can face drives of many hours in an emergency. 

Further complicating the issues is the fact that the class size of OVC’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program has remained capped, forcing OVC to turn away many highly qualified applicants each year.  These barriers to care put our pets at risk. What if treatment simply wasn’t available for Perseus and Carina when they needed it most? This is a concerning reality for many pet owners who seek help and hope when their pets fall ill. 

We want to ensure that our animal companions can continue to receive the care they need and deserve. But we need your help.  


Turning years of discussions and strategy into concrete plans, in March 2023, the Province of Ontario announced support of an innovative program: the new Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program (CDVMP) which unites the Ontario Veterinary College with Lakehead University in Thunder Bay in a one-of-a-kind educational partnership focused on recruiting and training new veterinarians. For the first time in more than 30 years, the class size of OVC’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program will increase from 105 for domestic students to 125 bringing the total number of graduates to 140 each year.


At OVC, it is our duty to equip student veterinarians with a broad skillset and ensure they are optimally prepared to navigate the fast-paced and demanding landscape of veterinary medicine. 

Not only will the CDVMP increase the number of veterinarians across Ontario, but it will also enhance the quality of learning for every student, better equipping them to meet the complex needs of pets everywhere, in diverse settings and under varying conditions. 

To accommodate our expanding class size and ensure that tomorrow’s veterinarians are equipped with the most advanced skills and knowledge, we’ve re-imagined the delivery of our DVM program. Now it’s time to re-imagine our learning facilities. 

We need to invest in a new building, a modern Medical and Surgical Learning Centre so that graduating students will be more fully prepared to apply their skills confidently and effectively for the benefit of all animals, everywhere, in a range of environments. 

The risk of maintaining the status quo is simply too grave while the potential benefits of growth and evolution are compelling; now is the time to pursue an ambitious new plan.

Three Dogs


Your support will bring this new innovative program to life by helping us build a new multi-story Medical and Surgical Learning Centre in which students will hone their skills and build their confidence as they prepare for life as practicing veterinarians. The Medical and Surgical Learning Centre will provide:

Optimized teaching and learning space including modernized, dedicated areas for students to practice their foundational pre-surgical, surgical, post-surgical and medical skills.
An increase in hands-on learning experiences for all students in phases 3 and 4 through the development of two new, updated and expanded surgery suites: a surgical lab and a foundation surgical suite for training on models.
Dedicated patient preparation, treatment, and recovery rooms.
A designated room for dentistry training.
State-of-the-art facilities for teaching and learning clinical skills that are foundational to companion animal, equine, farm animal and wildlife practice .
Additional support to the community through access to care programs such as the Kim and Stu Lang Community Healthcare Partnership Program.



The new multi-story Medical and Surgical Learning Centre will cost $23 million. Your donation will bring us closer to our goal and help us train more vets to treat more pets across the province. 

Gifts of all amounts are precious to us! Opportunities for one-time gifts and pledges are available. Naming a space for an animal or person you love can be activated through gifts of $50,000 or more.

To learn more about the new Medical and Surgical Learning Centre please contact the OVC Advancement and Pet Trust team at:

OVC Pet Trust
Ontario Veterinary College
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
N1G 2W1
519-824-4120 Extension 54695
Charitable Registration # 10816 1829 RR 0001



Floor plan1
Floor plan2

Have you updated your contact information?

We'll keep you in the know about alumni news, events, and new benefits!


Alumni Affairs and Development builds lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, staff, faculty and friends of the University of Guelph. We raise funds to support the University and advance its mission to improve life.

Charitable Registration Number:
10816 1829 RR 0001


Event Galleries on Flickr