Displaying items by tag: AVMA

Talkin' Pets News

February 2, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Maria Ryan - DogGone Positive

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media / Production - Bob Page

Special Guests - 5pm ET Bash Dibra Celebrity Dog Trainer // 630pm ET Jerry Grymek Doggie Concierge Hotel Penn

Delivery Scanning Technology Linked to Decrease from 2016

April 05, 2018 


http://www.facebook.com/uspsspacerTwitter @USPS

"Any dog can bite" poster

SAN DIEGO — The number of postal employees attacked by dogs nationwide reached 6,244 in 2017 — more than 500 fewer than 2016. Today, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is showcasing technology that alerts mail carriers of potential attacks while releasing its annual list of cities where the most dog attacks were recorded. The organization also highlights safety initiatives to help protect its employees and offers tips to pet owners.

“We’re encouraged by the decrease in dog attacks,” said U.S. Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo in San Diego, where postal employees suffered 46 attacks — the fifth ranked city in 2017. “The totals are still too high, but we’re confident that with continuing education and dog bite prevention training, along with advancing technology, we can keep more people safe and keep attacks trending downward.”

Enhancing Employee Safety
DeCarlo highlights USPS safety measures that alert mail carriers to dogs on their delivery routes. The Package Pickup application on usps.com asks customers to indicate if there are dogs at their addresses when they schedule package pickups. This information is provided to carriers on their delivery scanners which send alerts if an unleashed dog is reported in a delivery area.

“The scanners that our carriers use to confirm a customer’s delivery include a feature for them to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address,” said DeCarlo. “This information is particularly helpful for substitute carriers who fill in for regular carriers on their days off.”

 information provided to carriers on delivery scanner

DeCarlo is in San Diego Thursday, April 5, to kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs Sunday, April 8, through Saturday, April 14. The Postal Service, joined by the American Humane, American Veterinary Medical Association, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance, is driving home the message that dog bites are a national issue and education can resolve the issue.

Half of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DeCarlo gave the following tips and encouraged sharing them using the hashtag #preventdogbites. A video on dog bite prevention tips is available on the Postal Service’s YouTube channel.

  • If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
  • Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
  • The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office.

American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, estimates that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year with 800,000 seeking medical attention for these bites — more than half of them being children.

“Two-thirds of the injuries occurring in children four years or younger are to the head or neck region, and studies have also shown that the greatest percentage of dog-bite fatalities occurred among children and unsupervised newborns left with dogs — something that should never occur,” said Mark Stubis, chief communications officer, American Humane.  “To help, American Humane offers a free online booklet, ‘Pet Meets Baby,’ with valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a pet — or a new pet into a home with a child available for families with children.”

Insurance company State Farm reports that in 2017, it paid more than $132 million as a result of 3,618 dog-related injury claims. The average cost paid per claim was $36,573. “State Farm is also one of the few insurance companies that does not exclude homeowner or renter insurance coverage because of the breed of dog owned,” said Heather Paul, State Farm public affairs specialist. “The company reinforces that responsible pet ownership and educating children about how to safely interact with dogs is key to reducing dog bites.”

“Veterinarians see firsthand the needless heartbreak a dog bite can cause,” said Dr. Mike Topper, AVMA President. “We know that dog bites are not a breed-specific issue and that any dog can bite. We also know that most bites can be prevented through education. Your veterinarian and the AVMA have extensive resources designed to keep your pup, no matter what their breed, a happy, healthy member of your family and community.

2017 Dog Attack Rankings by City
A total of 6,244 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2017. The top 30 city rankings are below. Some cities share the same rankings as they experienced the same number of attacks.

 

Office City

Office State

CY-17

CY-16

1  

HOUSTON

TX

71

62

2  

LOS ANGELES

CA

67

80

3  

ST LOUIS

MO

52

31

4  

CLEVELAND

OH

49

60

5  

SAN DIEGO

CA

46

57

6  

BALTIMORE

MD

44

36

6  

SAN ANTONIO

TX

44

42

7  

COLUMBUS

OH

43

39

8  

DALLAS

TX

40

41

9  

LOUISVILLE

KY

39

51

10 

CHICAGO

IL

38

46

11 

DENVER

CO

35

47

12 

LONG BEACH

CA

32

22

12 

DETROIT

MI

32

48

12 

KANSAS CITY

MO

32

30

13 

OAKLAND

CA

28

23

13 

SEATTLE

WA

28

31

14 

MINNEAPOLIS

MN

27

43

14 

CHARLOTTE

NC

27

33

14 

PHILADELPHIA

PA

27

40

15 

SAN JOSE

CA

26

21

15 

FORT WORTH

TX

26

33

16 

MIAMI

FL

25

15

16 

INDIANAPOLIS

IN

25

44

16 

ROCHESTER

NY

25

11

16 

CINCINNATI

OH

25

24

16 

TOLEDO

OH

25

18

17 

PHOENIX

AZ

24

35

17 

SACRAMENTO

CA

24

30

17 

PORTLAND

OR

24

41

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

# # #

Talkin' Pets News

December 23, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celetrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guests - Celebrity Dog Trainer, Kaelin Munkelwitz will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 12/23/17 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away her book, The Puppy Training Handbook

National Dog Trainer Sara Carson who placed 5th on America's Got Talent this year will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 12/23/17 at 630pm EST to discuss Hero and The Super Collies and her training methods

Denise Fleck, Pet Safety Crusader, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets this Saturday 12/23/17 at 720pm EST to discuss how to help pets and their parents this holiday season

 

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) December 13, 2016—Following a thorough veterinary exam at the North Pole, Rudolph and all of the other reindeer have been given the green light to guide Santa’s sleigh once again this year.

Dr. Tom Meyer, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and official veterinarian of the North Pole, examined the reindeer earlier this month to ensure that Santa’s team of nine were up-to-date on their vaccinations, free of disease and healthy enough to make their annual trek around the globe.

“After thorough examination, I can tell you that Santa’s reindeer are perfectly healthy, in great shape and ready for their upcoming flight,” Meyer said.

(To see video of Meyer’s reindeer inspection, visit https://youtu.be/u-ECVemg5NQ.)

The reindeer’s annual exam includes a health check about a month prior to their Christmas Eve flight to make sure they’re healthy and not showing any signs of disease—such as brucellosis, tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease—that can be transmitted to other animals around the world.

“Santa’s reindeer need to be in tip-top shape to complete their Christmas Eve flight on time, so it’s vital that they receive a pre-trip veterinary exam to make sure they are free of any injuries that might slow them down,” Meyer said. “Because the reindeer will be visiting all corners of the globe, we need to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and free of disease so they don’t pick up or spread any infections to other animals around the world.”

In addition to presents for children around the world, Santa is required to bring with him an official “North Pole Certificate of Animal Export” that allows him to freely cross borders and ensure health officials that his reindeer are no threat to animal or public health.

Meyer will make a follow-up trip to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to provide a pre-flight checkup and to inspect the reindeer upon their return on Christmas morning.

For kids who want to help the reindeer on their journey, Meyer recommended leaving a plate of graham cracker reindeer cookies, their favorite snack, for Santa to feed them between stops.

Meyer’s work is consistent with the role veterinarians play every day to ensure the health of animals, people and the environment around the globe. Far from just being “dog and cat doctors,” veterinarians work with all kinds of species, in all types of environments, to make the world a healthier place for all forms of life.

While only one veterinarian can be official veterinarian of the North Pole, every veterinarian can help the cause by volunteering to be part of Santa’s emergency veterinary staff on Christmas Eve. AVMA members can download a badge to let their clients know they are part of Santa’s Emergency Landing and Veterinary Expert System (E.L.V.E.S.) support team. Veterinarians are invited to help spread holiday cheer by displaying their official E.L.V.E.S. badge on their clinics’ social media channels and educating clients on the various ways that veterinarians help keep all animals healthy—even reindeer.

AVMA members can visit the AVMA website to download the official E.L.V.E.S. badge

While unavailable for comment due to his busy work schedule, Santa issued a statement, saying, “Without my reindeer, there simply would be no Christmas. Proper veterinary care ensures that, year in and year out, my team and I are able to deliver presents to boys and girls around the world. It’s safe to say that Dr. Meyer is on the “Nice List” this year.”

For more information on Meyer’s role as official veterinarian of the North Pole, including answers to kids’ questions about reindeer, visit avma.org/Santa.


###The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 86,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

 

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 11, 2016--Dr. Janet Donlin has been named executive vice president/chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Donlin will succeed Dr. Ron DeHaven, who is retiring after nine years of service to the AVMA.

Donlin has served as chief executive officer of the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust (AVMA PLIT) since April 2013. The AVMA PLIT is now in its 54th year of dedicated service to AVMA members, providing a wide variety of insurance-related products to veterinarians, veterinary practices and veterinary students.

AVMA President Dr. Tom Meyer cited Donlin’s decades-long service to the veterinary profession and her extensive professional achievements as key factors to her being named the lead executive of a national veterinary association that is approaching a total membership of 90,000 veterinarians from all walks of professional life.

“Dr. Donlin is one of the true champions of veterinary medicine and all it stands for,” Meyer said. “She has an outstanding record of success in both the veterinary association arena and in the animal health industry. She is a skilled strategist with a proven background of diverse AVMA experience and a known reputation for working with leaders from all segments of the veterinary profession, key stakeholders and staff members to drive innovation, growth and success.

“Janet is highly skilled at building teams that can identify member needs and drive programs that deliver the products and services our members want, need and expect,” Meyer continued. “The AVMA is fortunate to welcome Janet to the helm of our national association. She understands the importance of working collaboratively to achieve our shared objectives. She is uniquely qualified to take the role of AVMA executive vice president and chief executive officer.”

Donlin’s hiring marks her return to an association for which she first started working in 1991 as an assistant director in what was then the AVMA Scientific Activities Division. Over the course of the next 17 years, she served as an interim division director, associate executive vice president and assistant executive vice president. Her role as assistant executive vice president required her to work hand-in-hand with the executive vice president to drive execution of the objectives established by the AVMA Board. From 2000-2001, Donlin’s role at the AVMA also included serving as interim CEO of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, where she oversaw the establishment of the commission as a nonprofit organization.

“My time at the AVMA and my experiences across the profession have reinforced for me time and again that our membership is very diverse, our needs are constantly evolving and our profession continues to face new challenges and opportunities,” Donlin said. “That’s why I’m committed to making certain we continue to build on the AVMA’s core strengths so that we are even more responsive to the needs of our members, and that we advocate with a strong, clear voice on behalf of our entire profession.

“I’m excited to work closely with AVMA leadership and staff, and our colleagues and strategic partners, to advance the AVMA’s mission ‘to lead the profession by advocating for our members and advancing the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health.’ ”

Retiring CEO DeHaven said Donlin’s hiring will bring skilled leadership, as well as sound foundational knowledge, to an association that continues to evolve in order to best meet its members’ needs.

“Dr. Donlin is an experienced association professional with an exceptional amount of knowledge of, and experience with, the AVMA and our membership,” DeHaven said. “She is exactly the right person to continue what we are doing to meet member needs and to take us to the next level.”

Donlin served as chief veterinary officer in the Global Veterinary Business Channel of Hill’s Pet Nutrition from August 2007 to March 2013, where she provided veterinary insights to drive development of innovative products and services to meet the evolving needs of the veterinary profession and pet owners.

She received both her DVM and her Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from the University of Minnesota. She is also a graduate of the veterinary technician program at the Medical Institute of Minnesota. She is a licensed veterinarian in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and has professional membership in several associations, including the AVMA, the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and the American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians.

Donlin is the first veterinarian to earn the Certified Association Executive credential from the American Society of Association Executives. She is a former trustee of the AVMA’s Group Health Life Insurance Trust (now known as AVMA Life), and she is a former board member of the American Association of Corporate and Public Service Veterinarians.

Donlin will begin her employment at the AVMA September 12.

“I’m passionate about member service, and I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with what I consider to be one of the most important positions in veterinary medicine,” Donlin said.

###

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) January 11, 2016—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has updated its policy on free-roaming abandoned and feral cats to encourage collaboration among veterinarians, humane groups and wildlife conservation entities in efforts to reduce these cat populations in a humane and ethical manner.

While emphasizing that there is no “single solution” to reduce the population of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats, the policy states that approaches should give consideration “to the welfare of the cats and wildlife themselves, the ecosystem in which the intervention will be conducted, the expertise and abilities of those implementing the intervention, societal and cultural attitudes, and public health.”

The updated policy, approved by the AVMA House of Delegates on January 9 at its regular winter session, was the result of more than two years of discussion and review among a broad range of stakeholders, including the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee, Committee on Environmental Issues, and Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, as well as others having feline, avian and wildlife interests and expertise.

“The updated policy reflects extensive review and compromise among major stakeholders and was revised to reflect new information, help build consensus, and provide leadership per the management of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats,” said Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, president of the AVMA.

Dr. Kinnarney explained the policy was the result of “great efforts” to represent the diverse viewpoints related to the issue of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats, while maintaining scientific credibility and a policy that provides valuable and practical information for AVMA members and the public. 

“The revised policy represents iterative progress toward resolving the free-roaming abandoned and feral cat problem, while recognizing that there is currently not consensus around what an ultimate solution will look like,” Dr. Kinnarney said. “It also points to the veterinary profession as a key player in developing approaches that are both science-based and socially responsible.”

 

###


SMITHTOWN, NY – (October 14, 2015) – According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, over 36 percent of households in America own dogs and 30 percent own cats. However, not every owner knows the proper procedure for winter pet care; every year thousands of companion and stray animals die from being left out in this extreme weather. These cases are investigated more by police and animal control agencies than any other form of animal abuse. A common misconception is the belief that the fur on animals’ back will insulate them from suffering in the cold winter temperatures or upcoming storm. However, without proper shelter, food and water, these domesticated animals’ chances of survival in frigid temperatures is greatly decreased. Guardians of Rescue, a nation-wide animal rescue organization is expanding their “Gimme Shelter Program” to avoid the suffering of innocent animals this winter season.
 
"The winter of 2014 was brutally cold, and the snow and ice lead to many unnecessary deaths of cats and dogs, who were left outdoors without proper housing, food or water. Guardians are boots on the ground for these animals,” said Robert Misseri, president of the Guardians of Rescue. "Unfortunately, it’s challenging when you have lack of funds. Our members deliver houses to some of the worst crime areas in the country. Trying to convince owners to allow us to put houses there is not an easy task.”
 
Guardians of Rescue, a national animal welfare and advocacy organization works to protect and improve the lives of companion animals less fortunate than our own. Guardians of Rescue will be distributing:
•    Insulated houses for dogs and outdoor cats
•    For those houses that can, electric safety heaters and solar heaters will be installed
•    Food is fuel, and a proper diet is essential for all animals who are left in the elements

Feral cats are no exception. These "undercats" of the world suffer greatly. While seeking warmth and shelter, they can easily be trapped by the snow piles that plows create. Guardians of Rescue dig out many cat colonies each winter.
 
To prevent your pet from suffering this winter, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends these quick tips:
•    Microchip. Many dogs and cats get lost finding their way home in the winter due to the snow and ice covering their usual scents.
•    Be Prepared. Snow and ice can lead to power outages. Make sure you have enough food, water and medicine to last through an unexpected power loss.
•    Wipe Down. Salt and antifreeze on the roads and sidewalks can be poisonous if your pet licks her feet after walking. Be sure to wipe down your pet’s paws and tummy to avoid chemicals.

"Our Gimme Shelter program has increased through awareness. This year we are gearing up for yet another cold, harsh winter,” said Misseri. "We need to get a jump start now, by asking everyone to donate whatever they can to help make the lives of these poor, neglected animals better.”
Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to animals out on the streets, helping to rescue them, provide medical care, food and shelter, and find foster-home placements. They are also instrumental in helping military members with their pets, and to provide service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.


About Guardians of Rescue Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including facilitating foster programs, rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.

# # #

Source:
AVMA. Cold Weather Pet Safety. https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx

Farmer’s Almanac. Winter 2015 – 2016. http://farmersalmanac.com/weather-outlook/2016-winter-forecast/

Voting open through Sept. 1

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 20, 2015—Time is running out to cast your vote for America’s Favorite Veterinarian at AVMF.org/AFV. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s (AVMF) nationwide contest honors outstanding veterinarians for their essential role in preserving and protecting the health and well-being of animals.

This year’s 20 finalists include veterinarians practicing in all areas of veterinary medicine. They range from traditional practices to mobile clinics, rescue programs, holistic medicine and public health.

“I challenge anyone to read the incredible stories of the 20 finalists and not come away moved and impressed with all the fascinating things that veterinarians do,” said Dr. Ginger Brainard, psychologist, pet owner, and committee chair of the AVMF’s America's Favorite Veterinarian contest. 

The finalists were nominated by their clients, partners and co-workers who submitted a brief essay explaining why their veterinarian deserves recognition. Now it is up to the general public to determine who will earn the title of America’s Favorite Veterinarian for 2015-2016.

“It was clear from reading the entries that each of these nominees have positively impacted the lives of their clients and community,” said Dr. John Brooks, chair of the AVMF board. “Inspired by their compassion and extraordinary lengths taken to improve the health and welfare of animals and people, the AVMF established the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund (VCCF) so that the charitable work of these extraordinary veterinarians can continue and expand.”

The VCCF is a unique partnership between the animal-loving public and members of the veterinary profession. Existing clients can make tax-deductible donations that can be used to help families and individuals during a time of crisis. It is a way for the donated funds to support people in the community and know that their donations stay local. Among those helped by this fund include:

  • Active and retired service dogs
  • Low-income senior citizens with pets
  • Injured domestic animals rescued by Good Samaritans and first responders
  • Animals rescued from abuse and neglect
  • Veterinary clients experiencing a crisis 

“We hope voters will take a minute to contribute to their favorite veterinarian’s VCCF or if they do not have a VCCF, they can contribute to AVMF’s The Greatest Needs Fund,” said Dr. Brooks. “This helps veterinarians use their skills to provide vital care to more sick and injured animals.”

The winner of America’s Favorite Veterinarian will be announced in late September on AVMF.org/AFV. America’s Favorite Veterinarian will receive a $500 cash prize, a trip to the 2016 AVMA Convention in San Antonio, a year-long feature on the AVMF website, and a community celebration at their clinic to recognize the accomplishments of the veterinarian and his or her staff. Additionally, the nominator of the winning veterinarian will receive an animal lover’s gift pack.

 For more information on America’s Favorite Veterinarian and the AVMF, visit AVMF.org/AFV.

# # #

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).  For over 50 years the AVMF has been dedicated to embracing and advancing the well-being and medical care of animals. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation help veterinarians care for animals.  Initiatives include: Humane Outreach-Animal Welfare, Education and Public Awareness, Animal Health Research Support, Student Enhancement and Support.

Dr. José Arce, DVM

​District IV AVMA Board of Directors Representative 

AVMA Officers
Biographical Sketch

Dr. José V. Arce was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. During his undergraduate years, Dr. Arce worked as a veterinary assistant in Burbank Veterinary Hospital in Baton Rouge and participated in student activities, serving as president of the Pre-Vet Club. After obtaining his bachelor degree, he worked as a research assistant at the Caribbean Primate Research Center. While in veterinary school, Dr. Arce was the class treasurer and a SCAVMA representative for four years and LSU’s SCAVMA treasurer during his sophomore year. He completed an internship in small animal medicine, surgery, and emergency treatment at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital in Springfield, Mass.
 
In 1998, Dr. Arce moved back to Puerto Rico. Early in his career, he worked as a veterinarian at the Avian and Small Animal Hospital, San Juan Municipal Shelter, Dorado Veterinary Hospital. For seven years, he also worked at the Diaz Umpierre Veterinary Clinic. In 2003, he founded Miramar Animal Hospital, of which he is president and co-owner. His special interests include dermatology, ophthalmology, and ultrasonography.
 
As soon as he moved back to his beloved Puerto Rico, Dr. Arce became active in the Colegio de Medicos Veterinarios de Puerto Rico (PRVMA) and was named to the Ethics and Grievances Committee in 1988. In 1999, he was selected to represent the PRVMA to the AVMA Leadership Conference. In 2000, he was elected as the alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates, a position he held until 2010 when he was elected to his current position as delegate. Dr. Arce has been a board member of the PRVMA since 2000. Since 2001, he has been an active member of the Legislation Commission, of which he has been secretary for the past four years and has lobbied actively for the passage of legislations dealing with veterinary medicine matters with local senators and representatives as well as with US congressmen on behalf of the AVMA. He has also been an active member of the PRVMA Convention Committee since 2009 and has helped achieve record number of participants in the last two annual conventions.
 
Dr. Arce still maintains strong ties to his alma mater. In 2009, he was selected to participate in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Stakeholders Summit.
 
In 2011, Dr. Arce was chosen and took part in the AVMA House of Delegates Leadership Development Program. In 2012, he was selected and participated in the AVMA Summit on Governance.
 
Dr. Arce has also been very active in his community of Miramar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He currently serves on the Board of the Miramar Residents Association, is the PTA President of Perpetuo Socorro Academy, is Assistant Scoutmaster of Miramar’s Boy Scouts of America Troop 29, and has been active for the past 12 years in the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and currently serves as Miramar’s Precinct Electoral Commissioner. He is also active in the sport of soccer, both as a player and team representative. Having served from 2010 to 2012 as Director of the National Masters (over 35) Soccer League of Puerto Rico, he still plays and is team president of the Club de Internacional de Futbol. He lives with his wife (and fellow veterinarian) Dr. Anik Puig and son Diego in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Santa’s veterinarian gives reindeer green light for Christmas flight

(Schaumburg, Illinois) December 12, 2014—Following a health checkup at the North Pole, Santa’s veterinarian has given the green light to Rudolph’s red nose and the rest of the reindeer that will be traveling the world this Christmas Eve.

Dr. René Carlson, president of the World Veterinary Association and former president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, visited the North Pole earlier this month to ensure that Santa’s team of nine were up-to-date on their vaccinations and healthy enough to make their annual trek around the globe (view video from Dr. Carlson's North Pole trip).

“I can assure you that all of them are in healthy condition and are all ready to go for Christmas Eve,” Dr. Carlson said.

The reindeer's annual exam includes a health check about a month prior to their Christmas Eve flight to make sure they’re healthy and not showing any signs of disease, such as brucellosis, tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease, that can be transmitted to other animals.

“We need to make sure the reindeer aren’t harboring any diseases that they could then potentially spread to animals in other parts of the world,” said Dr. Carlson. “At the same time, making sure they’re healthy also means that they’re less likely to catch any diseases themselves on that long flight.”

In addition to presents for children around the world, Santa is required to bring with him an official “North Pole Certificate of Animal Export” that allows him to freely cross borders and ensure health officials that his reindeer are no threat to animal or public health.

(View the 2014 North Pole Certificate of Animal Export.)

Dr. Carlson will make a follow-up trip to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to provide a pre-flight checkup and to inspect the reindeer upon their return on Christmas morning.

For kids who want to help the reindeer on their journey, Dr. Carlson recommended leaving a plate of graham cracker reindeer cookies, their favorite snack, for Santa to feed them between stops.

Dr. Carlson’s work is consistent with the role veterinarians play every day to ensure the health of animals, people and the environment across the globe. Far from just being “dog and cat doctors,” veterinarians work with all kinds of species, in all types of environments, to make the world a healthier place for all forms of life.

While unavailable for comment due to his busy work schedule, Santa issued a statement, saying, “Without my reindeer there simply would be no Christmas. Proper veterinary care ensures that, year in and year out, my team and I are able to deliver presents to boys and girls around the world. Dr. Carlson is definitely on the ‘nice list’ again this year.”

To view a short video from Dr. Carlson’s North Pole visit, click here. For more information on Dr. Carlson’s role as North Pole Veterinarian, including answers to kids’ questions about reindeer, view AVMA’s “Reindeer landing” page.


###The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 85,000 member veterinarians engaged in a wide variety of professional activities around the world.
Page 1 of 4