Make Me Smile


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Making Shelter animals more adoptable since 2013.

Veterinary Dentists offer free equipment and training to shelter veterinarians and technicians so adoptable dogs and cats can receive dental cleanings before adoption into new homes.

In 2013 the Make me Smile program was organized in concert with the generosity of veterinary equipment manufacturer Dentalaire Products International. DPI provided equipment and Trustees of the Foundation volunteered training manpower at various animal shelters throughout the country. In 2016, Petco Inc. awarded a $10,000 grant to the program.

The program is designed to give shelter veterinarians and technicians the training on providing comprehensive oral health, assessment and treatment (COHAT) of oral concerns for their animals that are placed for adoption. The COHAT will be conducted under general anesthesia and assessment will be done with full mouth radiographs and physical examinations.

It is known that poor oral health leads to physical ailments and temperament issues, all of which can render the animals not as desirable for adoption. It is the goal of this dedicated group of veterinarians, technicians and dental hygienists who specialize in veterinary dentistry to create awareness for shelter personnel so that can provide treatment in-house.



Make Me Smile in the News

Veterinary Dentists Are Bringing Shelter Pets and Adopters Together
"Make Me Smile Shelter Project" means sweeter breath and better health for homeless pets

Martinez, CA (Dec. 3, 2014) – Pets in animal shelters have a new ally in their search for homes: veterinary dentists. 

Thanks to the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry's "Make Me Smile Shelter Project," shelter veterinarians and veterinary technicians nationwide will be receiving specialized training and equipment to help make sure homeless pets have dental exams and dental cleanings before they meet their new families.

 "Animals with periodontal disease are extremely difficult to place for adoption," says Foundation Chair Dr. Jamie Anderson, a veterinarian and member trustee. "Animals with healthy mouths are more appealing because their breath is sweeter, and because they're healthier and feel better."

Reno, NV-(Dec. 11, 2015)   Jaxson would make the perfect pet for a family with young children.  The 5 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi is gentle and loving with a sweet disposition.  However years of neglect have left the dog with bad breath and ugly stains on his teeth that officials say make him practically unadoptable. “Animals with periodontal disease are extremely difficult to place for adoption”, according to Veterinarian Dr. Clarence Sitzman, who is a member trustee and founder of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry.  The non-profit group is donating time, resources, equipment and expertise to train shelter veterinarians across the country with the goal of making the animals more adoptable.


  • Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists
  • Dr. Richard McFarland
  • Dr. Susan McTaggart
  • Dr. Mike Overend
  • Dr. Jan Bellows
  • Dr. Jamie Anderson
  • Companion Animal Dentistry of Kansas City

The following 2017 VDF Speakershave generously donated their honorariums back to the Foundation.

  • Dr. A. Amimoto
  • Dr. Brett Beckman
  • Dr. Curt Coffman
  • Dr. William Gengler
  • Dr. Toru Gotanda
  • Dr. William Kellner