New Petco Love and LSU Community Veterinary Outreach Program Supports Pets and the Baton Rouge Community

February 09, 2024

National Nonprofit Petco Love Invests $665,000 in LSU for New Mobile Clinic and Veterinary Faculty Position

community outreach vehicle Hurst, Miller and volunteers Dr. Miller with dog and volunteer
Dr. Miller with volunteers volunteers Jackie Perez-Menjivar and Dr. Miller


The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and national nonprofit, Petco Love, are partnering to improve the health and wellness of pets through the new Petco Love and LSU Community Outreach Veterinary Program. Thanks to a $665,000 investment to the LSU Foundation by Petco Love, a veterinary faculty position was created and a newly purchased mobile clinic is now heading into surrounding communities to provide essential veterinary health care for pets.

Krista Miller, DVM, was hired as an assistant professor of LSU/Petco Love Community Outreach effective August 31, 2023. Since then, she has begun designing the LSU Vet Med/Petco Love Community Outreach program and reaching out to community partners like the Companion Animal Alliance, a non-profit animal shelter located on the LSU campus dedicated to increasing the save rate of pets in the Baton Rouge community. Dr. Miller has also begun attending high school career fairs and events to introduce young people to veterinary medicine and discuss career opportunities.

Dr. Miller received her DVM from Mississippi State University in 2008 and her BS from Alcorn State University in 2004. She has worked in private practice in Arkansas, California, and Baton Rouge. 

Dr. Miller’s work often involves the more than 26-foot mobile clinic provided by Petco Love. This vehicle can be used as part of the LSU Vet Med shelter medicine program to provide care for pets in shelters, offer free or low-cost veterinary care in underserved communities, provide veterinary education to students, and deploy to affected areas following disasters to provide veterinary care as needed. It contains two exam/surgery tables, anesthesia machines, kennels, a generator, and a refrigerator. 


“The desire to secure a mobile unit for community outreach, disaster relief, and student teaching at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine has been a priority and vision for many years,” said Tracy Evans, executive director of development. “We are grateful to Petco Love for helping this vision become a reality. We are looking forward to doing good things in the name of Petco Love and LSU Vet Med for the state of Louisiana with our new, incredibly modern veterinary mobile clinic.”

In her role as community outreach veterinarian, Dr. Miller serves as an ambassador to Baton Rouge and surrounding areas for pet health and wellbeing through direct work in community shelters, community educational events, population control events, one health initiatives, and disaster relief. She provides instruction for pre-clinical and clinical veterinary students and supports veterinary students at the Companion Animal Alliance. Other activities for engagement include community events at Petco pet care centers, educational events for children and the public, preventative medicine clinics, including Petco Love free vaccine clinics, and spay/neuter activities both at LSU Vet Med and externally.

On Saturday, January 20, Dr. Miller partnered with Companion Animal Alliance and The Inner Pup to host a heartworm clinic at the Charles R. Kelly Community Center in Baton Rouge to provide heartworm tests and free 12-month heartworm preventative injections. Forty-eight volunteers consisting of LSU Vet Med veterinary students and alumni, LSU undergraduate students, and volunteers from CAA and The Inner Pup saw 151 dogs. Thirty-seven of the 151 dogs were heartworm-positive and enrolled in a treatment program with Proheart 12 and doxycycline. The team is scheduling a debriefing with these owners to follow up with them. The Inner Pup is a New Orleans-based non-profit dedicated to preventing suffering and saving the lives of pets by eradicating heartworm disease, providing low-cost veterinary services, and teaching responsible pet ownership. The Inner Pup’s mission empowers pet owners to provide top-notch health and well-being to ensure that no one has to face the heart-wrenching decision of parting with their beloved pets due to health issues.

“Heartworm disease is large contributor of heart disease, sickness, and death in many pets in the south, especially those in marginalized and lower socioeconomic areas,” said Dr. Miller. “Many factors contribute including financial constraints, but more than anything people being aware and understanding what it is and what it does! Understanding that heartworms live in the heart and cause heart damage creates lightbulb moments for many people when they realize dewormer from the co-op doesn’t fix the problem. Being able to provide knowledge and awareness and a heartworm prevention clinic to this area is a start. We are hopeful and plan to continue collaborations with The Inner Pup in decreasing and preventing these positive numbers, one clinic at a time!”

“This amazing program is absolutely groundbreaking. LSU Vet Med is grateful to Petco Love for its generosity and for this partnership that facilitates Petco Love’s mission to create a better world for pets, and helps move LSU Vet Med forward in its mission to improve and protect the lives of pets and people. This program exemplifies our commitment to impactful community engagement through the delivery of outstanding clinical service and compassionate care,” said Oliver A. Garden, BVetMed, Ph.D., DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, LSU Vet Med dean.

“Petco Love’s commitment to the health and wellness of underserved pets is exemplified in this partnership with LSU,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love. “The LSU Vet Med/Petco Love Community Outreach program will save more pet lives by going directly into communities and providing vital health care services and supporting relief and recovery efforts during times of disaster. We also hope to inspire future veterinarians with educational opportunities through this mobile clinic.”

With this most recent investment, Petco Love’s investments in the LSU Foundation totals $1,014,453 to date, including subsidized funding to help pet parents with the cost of pet cancer treatment. To learn more about Petco Love’s lifesaving work, visit Learn more about LSU Vet Med at

About LSU Vet Med: Bettering lives through education, public service, and discovery

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 33 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. LSU Vet Med is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of animals and people through superior education, transformational research, and compassionate care. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.

About Petco Love

Petco Love is a life-changing nonprofit organization that makes communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $375 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.75 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us.  Join us. Visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we lead every day.