Center for Animals and Public Policy

Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy logo

The Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine promotes research, education, service, and constructive dialogue in its efforts to enhance human-animal relationships and advance the well-being of animals and people. More than ever, veterinarians and scientists need to respond thoughtfully to the complex issues that arise in our relationships with animals and recognize the ethics, culture, values, and policy impacting those relationships. The mission of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is to conduct and encourage the study of complex issues surrounding the changing role and impact of animals in society. The Center supports the development and dissemination of research-driven policies, programs and practices that benefit both people and animals.

Work conducted by the Center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships.

Initiating Thought—Inspiring Action

The center’s research, teaching, and service activities are organized around four inter-related areas of focus:

Animals in the Community

Faculty, staff, and students involved in the focus area of Animals in Community advance understanding of the human-animal relationship while working to enhance the health and well-being of people and companion animals in the community setting.

Animals in Research

By exploring the policies and practices involving use of animals in education, research, and testing, and seeking methods for change, the Center for Animals and Public Policy encourages the reduction, refinement, and replacement of animal use.

Animals in the Environment

Faculty research, policy analysis, and student projects conducted by the Center for Animals and Public Policy address issues of animal welfare and the human relationship with animals in the natural world as affected by human modification of our shared environment.

Animals in Society

Faculty and students at the Center for Animals and Public Policy analyze and evaluate how cultural, social, and economic trends are shaping the treatment of animals in policy and practice. They share their insights with students, researchers, the veterinary profession, and the public through education, scholarly

Educating and Informing

Educating veterinary students about the underlying concept of “One Health” creates opportunities for graduates to make a difference for animals and society whether they work in private practice, the business world, or public service.

veterinarian and resident with a shetland dog

Shelter Medicine Program

The Shelter Medicine Program at Cummings School blends our strengths in patient care, research, and service-learning to care for underserved animals in our community while providing hands-on learning opportunities to veterinary students.

Animal Matters Series

The Center for Animals and Public Policy offers a venue for balanced, informed and respectful discussion of the difficult issues in animal ethics, policy and practice that face the veterinary profession and society. The Center's flagship speaker series is "Animal Matters." Presented by distinguished scientists, animal professionals, ethicists, advocates, and others, these lunchtime talks cover topics like living with urban wildlife, understanding the needs of dogs and horses, and protecting rhinos and elephants from poaching.

Email us at if you'd like to be notified of upcoming seminars. You can also follow us on Facebook here.

Upcoming Events

The Reporting Animal Cruelty: The Role of the Veterinarian manual for Massachusetts is provided here for establishing protocols for identifying and reporting suspected animal cruelty in Massachusetts. The manual is possible due to the collaborative efforts of Animal Folks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, with funding by these organizations and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Warning – the manual includes some graphic images of abused animals and is not intended to be shared with the general public.

Impacting Care

Service to the community is integral to many of the center’s initiatives in the form of support, education, and care. Service and outreach programs are tied together through the Animals in the Community program at CAPP.

Center for Shelter Dogs logo

The Center for Shelter Dogs (CSD) is an initiative of the Shelter Medicine Program, also housed within the Center, dedicated to improving the welfare of homeless dogs cared for by humane organizations, animal control facilities, and rescue groups throughout the nation.

Paws for people logo

Tufts Paws for People is a non-profit organization in New England associated with Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and supported by the Center for Animals and Public Policy.


Many of the activities conducted through the Center for Animals and Public Policy are made possible by the generous support of Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund.


For additional information or questions about the Center for Animals and Public Policy program, please contact:

Center for Animals and Public Policy
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
Phone: (508) 839-7991