The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela is the first faculty dedicated to this task; however, before it there was a Special Veterinary School, as it was called, that was started to educate professionals at the end of the 19th century. The opening of a new Faculty in 1984 was reinforced ten years later when the legal foundations for the start-up of the University Veterinary Hospital were established by the USC in order to complement the teaching with practical training at a hospital and to deal with the growing demand.
In 1994 the legal bases for the creation of the Rof Codina Foundation were set out and during 1995 the necessary organizational tasks were done and the precise designs made in order to be able to legally initiate the project for the Rof Codina University Veterinary Hospital of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. The general objectives of this university hospital are:
- To better the teaching provided by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine with the use of the hospital infrastructure and the clinical cases dealt with there, as well as with other more specialized teaching activities of the different health-related professions.
- To be a leader in the care and welfare of patients by offering high quality care service to owners and veterinarians in general.
- To promote clinical research and scientific innovation in experimental fields as well as those dealing with biomedicine.
The RC-UVH is divided into different services and areas of specialty, and is targeted towards three main groups of patients: small and exotic animals, food-producing animals, and equine species. Over 8,000 cases are seen at the hospital every year. In the mobile clinic some 200 students carry out part of their practical training by visiting around 50 different farms containing over 2,000 animals used in dairy and meat production. The Rof Codina Veterinary hospital complex extends over a 5000 m2 surface; 3000 m2 are dedicated to consultation/examination and all the necessary health service infrastructure, such as operating rooms, and diagnostic imaging. The remaining 2,000 m2 house the four pavilions used for hospitalization, quarantine, and animal experimentation.
The equipment and the specialization of the professors and doctors working at the RC-UVH make it a center of reference in the Northwest of the entire peninsula; thus, it provides support for all the health professionals there.