Alumni Casey Boyer in front of a zoo sign

Casey Boyer


B.S., Animal and Poultry Sciences with an emphasis in Companion and Laboratory Animals, Virginia Tech, 2018
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2020


Current Position:
DVM Candidate, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy program?
I was doing a mix of things. I worked at a veterinary hospital as a veterinary assistant. I did two zoo internships with exotic animals. I worked in animal care for a non-profit private animal organization and was a back-up technician for the mobile vaccine van for the same organization.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I was looking for a 1-year graduate program that would make be a better animal care professional and the MAPP program checked off everything I was looking for. I enjoy analyzing and discussing animal issues and I am excited to get a more in-depth knowledge of animal issues and learn how I can play a role in influencing them through politics.

Interests in and experience with animals
My strongest interests are shelter welfare and animals in captivity. I have a lot of experience with companion animals. This past year I got a roughly 1,000 hours of experience with exotic animals in a zoo setting. I have some classroom-type experience with livestock and lab animals, along with small amount of wildlife volunteer work. Lastly, I did undergraduate research in poultry nutrition.

What are your outside interests?
I enjoy lake activities like paddle boarding and wakeboarding. I like to go on hikes, but never get around to doing it much. I enjoy taking my dogs for a long walk in the park down the street from my house in Virginia which sort of resembles a hike. I go snowboarding at least once every winter as well.

Number of pets? What?
My family has two English Yellow Labs named Nelson and Ranger.

MAPP Externship

My summer externship took place in Columbia, South Carolina at Pawmetto Lifeline, a non-profit animal rescue organization. I spent 6 weeks completely remote and 4 weeks in-person. The three focuses of my externship were addressing puppy mills in South Carolina, a nuisance cat ordinance in Lexington County, and conducting a survey of shelters across South Carolina on their protocol changes in the pandemic. Additionally, my in-person work consisted of experience in the spay/neuter clinic, visiting local municipal shelters to pick up dogs for intake, and volunteering at a kitten adoption event.
I applied the material I learned about in Research Methods, Communicating Policy Positions, and other MAPP classes to address each of my externship focuses, including testifying in front of local county council. Overall, my experience in the MAPP program has given me the tools to be a successful animal advocate in my future career as a veterinarian.

See Externship Experience presentation here: