Displaying items by tag: AVMA

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.

 Ebola and pets: "It’s time to be cautious, but no time for panic”


​Can pets get sick from Ebola? Can they pass the virus to us? What should happen to the pets of infected people?

These questions came to the forefront this week when concerns were raised about what to do with the dog of an Ebola-infected nurse in Texas. While the dog has shown no signs of being infected, it is currently in quarantine as officials monitor its health. Earlier in the month, officials in Spain opted to euthanize a dog that may have been exposed to Ebola from an infected owner.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), said his organization is working with a number of veterinary and public health agencies and experts to develop protocols that veterinarians and other health officials can use to help guide their decisions on the handling and care of pets that may have been exposed to Ebola.

"There are lots of factors to consider, such as the type of animal and level of exposure," DeHaven said. "We want to make sure we create comprehensive, flexible protocols so veterinarians and health officials in all types of situations can use them to make the best decisions based on the evidence."

DeHaven said that there have been no reports of dogs or cats getting sick from Ebola, or of pets passing the virus to people or other animals, "but we are still taking precautions just in case."

He added, "It's time to be cautious, but no time for panic."

The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since that time, there have been sporadic outbreaks in Central Africa. Earlier this year, however, saw the start of the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola, this time in Western Africa. So far, three people have been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

Ebola is known to infect humans and non-human primates. Fruit bats, which don’t appear to be made ill from Ebola, may be a reservoir for the virus, passing it on directly or indirectly to humans and primates. While fruit bats in Africa can play a part in the spread of Ebola, there is no evidence that bats in North America can harbor the virus, nor is there any reason to believe they have been exposed to Ebola. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says such a situation is unlikely.

Symptoms of Ebola infection can occur anywhere from two to 21 days after infection and can include fever, headache, vomiting, and muscle pain. Ebola is a deadly disease, so if you believe you, someone you know, or your pet has been exposed to the Ebola virus, contact a physician or veterinarian immediately.

You can listen to the latest update on Ebola and pets on the AVMA’s website. You can find more information on Ebola at avma.org/Ebola.

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This National Pet Week, it’s time to celebrate your pets AND their vets!

The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) wants to celebrate your pets and showcase the veterinarians who help keep your pets healthy and happy, and who serve an important role in our communities. AVMA’s National Pet Week reminds pet owners the gift of good health is the best way to show you truly care!

The goals of National Pet Week are to promote responsible pet ownership, celebrate the human-animal bond, and promote public awareness of veterinary medicine. And just like annual checkups are important for people, regular visits to your veterinarian are important for your four-legged friend. Veterinarians are more than a resource for pet owners – they are the “family doctors” to our furry friends.

The AVMA’s National Pet Week is also a great opportunity for pet owners to focus on the latest treatments and innovations in pet care, with veterinarians available for interviews on the topics most on the minds of pet owners, including: Information on National Pet Week, safe and stress-free travel with pets, well visits and vaccinations, pet obesity and many other important topics.

Dr. Mitsie Vargas, DVM, CVA

Dr. Mitsie Vargas is the owner and founding veterinarian of Orchid Springs Animal Hospital, and it was her vision that led us to become the hospital that we are today. Dr. Vargas earned her veterinary degree from Tuskegee University in 1994 and in 1996, she established our hospital here in Winter Haven, FL. Her vision for the hospital has remained the same since day one. She wants Orchid Springs Animal Hospital to be a “one-stop” pet health care center, providing comfort to our patients and convenience to our clients. Since then she has deepened her roots in the local community through her involvement in various organizations such as the Ridge Veterinary Medical Society (2008-2009 president), Junior League of Greater Winter Haven Board, Girls Inc., Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, the Humane Society of Polk County board and founder of the non-for-profit organization K-9 For Life, Inc. Dr. Vargas has been the recipient of prestigious awards including Alice Thompson Award from Girl's Inc., Medical Hero of the Year by Bay News 9, Gold Star award by the FVMA, Special Service Contribution Award by The Humane society of Polk Co. and the National Pet Care Award by Nestle Purina in 2009. Her commitment to educating the public has manifested into many published newspaper articles including the Polk Voice "Vet Talk" weekly column and blog. Dr. Vargas has been recruited by the American Veterinary Medical Association as the radio voice for The National Hispanic Pet Owner Education Campaign touching on subjects from rabies awareness, spay and neuter, dog bite prevention and vaccinations. She is also an active member of the Veterinary News Network. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travelling, gardening and relaxing at home with her family which includes four cats, two dogs, five guinea pigs, a flying squirrel and numerous koi and goldfish. Dr. Vargas loves incorporating Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine into her care through a variety of mediums. She has earned the following certifications in Eastern treatment:  Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist  Certified Veterinary Food Therapist  Trained in Energy healing  Certified Reconnective Healer Practitioner Her interest in holistic medicine and the integration of acupuncture stemmed naturally from her desire for animal healing and comfort. ###

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) January 21, 2014—Is the worst part of cuddling with your pet its bad breath? This could be a sign of looming dental problems. Preventive veterinary dental care can save you money in the long run. Pet Dental Health Month, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) every February, reminds pet owners that brushing their pet’s teeth is good for both your pet’s health and your budget.

“It’s something you do every morning, part of your daily routine—brush your teeth. While most people take care of their own mouths, they often forget that they also should take care of their pet’s teeth through a regular dental health care regimen,” explains Dr. Clark K. Fobian, president of the AVMA. “One of the most common problems veterinarians see in pets is dental disease, and, unfortunately, these issues can get serious if untreated. I remind pet owners that an untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs, and suddenly become life threatening. Practicing good dental hygiene at home, in addition to regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian, is the most efficient and cost-effective way to keep your pets healthy, comfortable and pain-free.”

According to a 2013 analysis conducted by VPI Pet Insurance, the average cost to prevent dental disease in pets is $171.82, but it costs $531.71 to treat dental disease.

Resources and information for Pet Dental Health Month:

“We brush our teeth each day, and daily oral hygiene is recommended for dogs and cats from the time the permanent teeth erupt,” explains Dr. Jan Bellows, president of the American Veterinary Dental College. “Brushing is the gold standard, and many dogs and some cats will tolerate having their teeth brushed if the introduction to brushing is managed gently and gradually. In addition, several companion animal nutrition companies offer dental diets.  The texture of those foods generates a mechanical cleansing effect on the surface of the tooth as the pet is eating. Dental treats such as chews can also be effective, either mechanically by scraping the tooth surface or by chemically removing excess calcium in saliva that could otherwise be deposited on the teeth as calculus. There are also plaque-retardant products available in the form of a water additive, spray, gel or dentifrice, and products that are used to seal the surface of the teeth to prolong the beneficial effect of professional dental scaling. Talk to your veterinarian for more advice about preventing dental disease in your pets.”

While regular dental checkups are essential to help maintain your pet’s dental health, there are a number of signs that dental disease has already started. If you notice any of the symptoms below, take your pet into your veterinarian immediately:

●          Red swollen gums and brownish teeth.

●          Bad breath—Most pets have breath that is less than fresh, but if it becomes truly repugnant, similar to the smell of a rotten egg, it’s a sign that periodontal disease has already started.

●          Bleeding from the mouth.

●          Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth.

●          Reluctance to eat hard foods—for example, picking it up and then spitting it out.

For more information about your pet’s dental health, consult your veterinarian. Visit Pet Dental Health Month for additional resources and links.


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 worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

(Washington, D.C.) January 9, 2014—In a move that brings Congress one step closer to allowing veterinarians the complete ability to provide care to their animal patients beyond their clinics, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) praised the U.S. Senate today for its passage of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (S. 1171). Sponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Angus King (I-Maine), this commonsense legislation will give veterinarians who treat their patients on the farm, in the wild, at a client’s home or in any other mobile setting, the ability to bring and use controlled substances to provide pain management, anesthesia or euthanasia.

“The Senate’s action proves that our nation’s leaders are listening to the veterinary profession and are diligently working to ensure that animals in all settings continue to receive the best quality care,” said Dr. Clark Fobian, president of the AVMA. “To be a veterinarian, you must be willing to go to your patients when they cannot come to you, and this means being able to bring all of the vital medications you need in your medical bag. We are pleased that the Senate has taken action to fix a loophole in federal regulation, which has concerned veterinarians over the past few years, and urge the U.S. House to swiftly follow suit.”

“The passage of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act today is a step in the right direction for the licensed practitioners who help ensure public safety and care for animals in Kansas and across the country,” Sen. Moran said. “By legalizing the transportation and dispensation of controlled substances, this legislation makes certain veterinarians are equipped with the tools they need and is particularly important for practitioners who work in rural areas, conduct research or respond to emergency situations.”

“Iam very pleased the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act passed the Senate,” Sen. King said. “Working in a rural state like Maine often requires veterinarians to travel long distances in order to provide care to animals on farms, in homes and at shelters. This bill will grant properly licensed veterinarians the right to carry and administer controlled substances, including important medications, allowing them to do their jobs.”

Since November 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration has informed the veterinary profession that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not permit registrants to take controlled substances beyond their registered locations, such as a clinic or home in a veterinarian’s case. This narrow interpretation of the law is problematic for those veterinarians who care for animals in a variety of settings and also for those who live on a state border, therefore providing care in two states, but only having registered in one state. The DEA has indicated in the past that without a statutory change to the law, some veterinarians may be practicing outside the confines of the law.

AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division has been actively engaged with Capitol Hill staff to amend the CSA and has embarked in a year-long advocacy campaign to educate the public and the profession about how this regulation directly impacts veterinarians’ ability to protect the health and welfare of our nation’s animals.

AVMA’s members have sent more than 24,000 letters to Congress this year in support of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, and the bill has the support of more than 130 veterinary medical and other organizations. The House version of the bill (H.R. 1528) has more than 140 cosponsors and is endorsed by the House Veterinary Medicine Caucus, led by veterinarians Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.).


The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.


(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) December 11, 2013—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) changes to veterinary feed directive (VFD) regulations that will require veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in livestock. The FDA’s Final Guidance 213 establishes a three-year timeframe for phasing out growth-promotion uses of antibiotics important in human medicine and the phasing in of veterinary oversight. The changes were announced today in Washington D.C.

“The AVMA has long advocated that greater veterinary oversight of the use of antimicrobials on the farm is a benefit to human and animal health,” said AVMA President Dr. Clark Fobian.

The new rules require that medically important antibiotics currently sold over the counter will now require a VFD, the veterinary equivalent of a prescription, from a veterinarian.  Even with the VFD, any deviation in use from what is stated on the product label is illegal.

The AVMA Steering Committee for FDA Policy on Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobials has been engaged in discussions with the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine related to veterinary oversight of antimicrobials in feed.

The AVMA is pleased that its recommendations were thoughtfully considered and that many of them are reflected in the final guidance.

Fobian said the FDA demonstrated insight and due diligence by ensuring the VFD orders:

  • Are limited to use under the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian in the course of the veterinarian’s professional practice, and in compliance with veterinary licensing and practice requirements
  • Allow for greater flexibility by deferring to the profession and individual states for specific criteria on professional conduct related to veterinary supervision or oversight
  • Meet animal-health needs by removing the requirement for amount of feed and instead including approximate number of animals, duration and level of drug in feed
  • Afford veterinarians professional discretion in considering additional information, such as housing type, and animal age and weight, to specifically identify the animals to be treated with antimicrobials.

“The AVMA is ready to assist the USDA and the FDA in their outreach and communication efforts with stakeholders as we transition from the long history of these additives being available over the counter to the new VFD program,” Fobian said.

While the new rules provide an important first step, the AVMA has offered to assist USDA and FDA in educating veterinarians, producers and feed suppliers as they transition to comply with the new guidance over the next three years.

For more information, please visit www.avma.org.


Founded in 1863 and now more than 84,000 members strong, the AVMA is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Join us as we celebrate 150 years of education, science and service.

New game lets everyone become a virtual veterinarian


(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 12, 2013—Aspiring veterinarians and animal lovers of all ages can now test their skills diagnosing and treating animals through a new game developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).


“AVMA Animal Hospital” is available for free through Apple’s AppStore, Google Play, and AVMA’s website. The game takes place at a virtual veterinary clinic, where clients bring their pets in for treatment. Players must race the clock as they learn about each animal’s condition, diagnose its ailments, and provide treatment. By successfully diagnosing and treating each animal, players will earn points and level up from new veterinarian to chief veterinarian of the hospital.


While the primary audience for the game is children in grades 4-8, it was developed to provide a fun experience for animal lovers of all ages.

“We wanted to make a fun game that players would come back to again and again, but more importantly, we wanted there to be a strong educational component to it as well,” said AVMA CEO Dr. Ron DeHaven. “Games are a great way to learn, and we hope AVMA Animal Hospital helps educate and inspire the next generation of veterinarians.”


AVMA Animal Hospital was developed by Game Gurus with the help of several veterinarians who provided their expertise to create the animal diagnoses and treatments identified within the game. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) helped fund the development of the game and make it available to the public for free.


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The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.


(CHICAGO, Illinois) July 23, 2013—Dr. Clark K. Fobian of Sedalia, Mo., begins a one-year term as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) by pledging to bring the association members together.

“The AVMA has been in existence for 150 years and from any studied perspective is needed more by this profession today than at any other time in our past,” Dr. Fobian told to the AVMA House of Delegates during the first day of its two-day meeting held July 18-19 in Chicago. “We currently have a convergence of events relating to education, compensation, competition, employment, technology, diversity and culture like none other in the past. The needs are intense and the AVMA has the capabilities and the capacity to make a difference. We have to, once again as we have numerous times in our past, deliver, by whatever means, the value of the AVMA to all the participants in our profession—a profession that offers a perspective and service that none other replicates.”

Dr. Fobian, a University of Missouri-Columbia alum, was elected AVMA president-elect during the AVMA’s House of Delegates meeting last July in San Diego, Calif., during the AVMA’s Annual Convention. His term as president of the AVMA is a crowning achievement in a long and distinguished career as a veterinarian and a volunteer leader.

Dr. Fobian has approximately 30 years of experience as a mixed and small animal veterinarian. He grew up in Kirkwood, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in wildlife biology in 1972 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1977.

He worked as an associate veterinarian in mixed animal practice for four years in Nevada and Marshall, Mo. before starting his own small animal practice in Sedalia, Mo. in 1981, where he continues to practice today. Through this time he has expanded his business from a solo practice to a four person practice, building a new clinic facility in 1996.

In 2006, Dr. Fobian was elected to the Executive Board of the AVMA, which oversees an association with more than 84,000 members. He has also served as chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), which oversees the charitable arm of the AVMA. Dr. Fobian has been very active in the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, serving as vice-president, president-elect, president and chairman of the board.

He has been married to his wife Rita for thirty-nine years. They have two grown children, Kerri and Todd, as well as three grandchildren, Eli, Liam and Maisy.

For more information about the AVMA, please visit www.avma.org.


The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities.

(CHICAGO, Ill.) July 18, 2013—Compassion, dedication, creativity and determination are the unifying traits that describe the 18 individuals and organizations honored at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA)Annual Convention, July 19-23, 2013 in Chicago, Ill. Each recipient has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of both animals and people across the country and around the globe.

Individual interviews and photographs are available upon request.

This year’s award recipients are:

AVMA Award                                  James Brandt, DVM

2013 Leo K. Bustad Companion     Benjamin Hart, DVM, Ph.D.

Animal Veterinarian of the Year


2013 AVMA Animal                         Leslie D. Appel, DVM

Welfare Award

2013 AVMA Humane Award          Mark Tinsman

2013 AVMF/AKC Career                Kenneth W. Simpson, BVM&S, Ph.D.,

Achievement Award in                     DipACVIM, DipECVIM-CA

Canine Research

2013 AVMF/Winn Feline                 William Murphy, Ph.D.

Foundation Award

2013 AVMA Lifetime                       Gustavo Aguirre, DVM, Ph.D.

Excellence in Research Award

2013 Inaugural William F.                                       Elizabeth Ormerod, BVMS,

McCulloch Award for Excellence                           MRCVS, FRSA

in HAI Practice or Education

2013 Distinguished Scholar Award                         Harold Herzog, Ph.D.

2013 AVMA Public Service                                     Millicent Eidson, MA, DVM,

Award                                                                        DACVPM

2013 AVMA Meritorious                                         Cathy King, DVM, MS, Ph.D.

Service Award

2013 AVMA Advocacy Award                                U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader

2013 XIIth International                                          Corrie Brown, DVM, Ph.D.,

Veterinary Congress Prize                                       DACVP

2013 Karl F. Meyer-James                                       Yoshihiro Ozawa, DVM, Ph.D.

H. Steele Gold Headed

Cane Award

2013 Karl F. Meyer-James                                       William McCulloch, DVM, MPH

H. Steele Gold Headed

Cane Award

2013 AVMA President’s Award                              Link Welborn, DVM, DABVP

2013 AVMA President’s Award                              Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS

2013 AVMA President’s Award                              American Association of Equine Practitioners

2013 AVMA Award

Recognizes distinguished members of the Association who have contributed to the advancement of veterinary medicine in its organizational aspects.


James Brandt, DVM

Dr. James H. Brandt received his DVM degree from Oklahoma State University in 1964. He has been involved in organized veterinary medicine his entire career and has served his profession with honesty and dedication for 50 years. He held all offices of his local association and was president in 1972. He represented District 7 of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) from 1981–1989 serving on numerous committees and was elected president in 1990. He was the primary founder in the establishment of the Florida Veterinary Medical Foundation in 2000. He served on the FVMA Fiscal Advisory Committee until 2005. Dr. Brandt was honored as the Florida Veterinarian of the Year in 1993, and received the Distinguished Service Award in 2003.  He received Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 from Oklahoma State University.

He served in the AVMA House of Delegates representing Florida from 1990– 2000. He was elected and served as president of the AVMA in 2001 and, with the dedication of many veterinarians, helped guide the AVMA through the aftermath of the horrendous terrorist attack on our country on September 11, 2001. He proposed and was instrumental in the AVMA building beautification. He worked tirelessly to assist the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) in their charge to raise the economic level of the profession. He was elected trustee to the Group Health and Life Insurance Trust (GHLIT) in 2005 and today continues to work for an acceptable source of health insurance for the members of the AVMA.

Dr. Brandt is equally active in his community. He served as president of the Venice-Nokomis Rotary Club, a director of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Sunnyland Boy Scouts of America and as vestryman and senior warden of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He helped found two community banks and has served as a bank director since 1977. He served on the Venice Hospital Board for nine years and is a founding director of The Venice Foundation. He has participated in many welfare events with local animal welfare groups and humane societies.

2013 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award

Recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in preserving and protecting human-animal relationships.


Benjamin Hart, DVM, Ph.D.

Benjamin Hart, after completing his DVM and a Ph.D. in animal behavior and neurology at the University of Minnesota, joined the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California at Davis in 1964. Soon after arriving at UC Davis, he developed the first course in veterinary behavior and then launched the first clinical behavior service in the teaching hospital. Starting in the early 1970s, and continuing for his entire career, he published a long string of papers on clinically relevant aspects of companion animal behavior as well as basic animal behavior. Dr. Hart has 200 research publications, book chapters and books. While Dr. Hart is now retired from UC Davis as distinguished professor emeritus, he maintains an active research, writing and teaching schedule.

Dr. Hart has long emphasized the connection between companion animal behavior and the human-animal bond – resolving a problem behavior, or preventing it, is important in supporting the human-animal bond. As the area of human-animal interactions has evolved over the years, Dr. Hart has acquired a commitment to helping pet owners in being active decision makers, with their veterinarian’s guidance, regarding the age for spay and neuter in the long-term health of their canine family member. The first contribution in this area is a study he led on golden retrievers, published this year in the online journal, PLOS ONE.

Dr. Hart is a founding diplomate and past president of the board-certifying American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. He has mentored many on the current roster of ACVB diplomates. The clinical research program carried out in the behavior residency training program at UC Davis has resulted in more clinical animal behavior research publications than any other center.

Along with his passion for clinical animal behavior, Dr. Hart was always interested in behavioral defenses that wild animals use to protect themselves from parasites and pathogens. Much of this work is reviewed in his recent invited paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society entitled, “Behavioural defenses against pathogens and parasites: parallels with the pillars of medicine in humans.”

In this paper Dr. Hart lays out the basis for his hypothesis that humans get sick more often than animals (with the ordinary infectious diseases). For his work in basic animal behavior, Dr. Hart was elected as a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society.



2013 AVMA Animal Welfare Award

Recognizes a veterinarian for his/her achievements in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.


Leslie D. Appel, DVM

Dr. Leslie D. Appel is the founder and executive director of Shelter Outreach Services (SOS).  SOS is a high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter (HQHVSN) program dedicated to decreasing the companion animal overpopulation problem in the Finger Lakes area of New York state. Since program inception in 2003, over 82,000 animals have been sterilized through the SOS program. Dr. Appel is also a courtesy lecturer at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Cornell veterinary students rotate through SOS every week, in order to gain more hands-on surgical experience as well as first-hand experience in HQHVSN and shelter medicine.

Dr. Appel is also the founder of the annual Shelter Medicine Conference that is held at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine every summer. This conference, sponsored in part by the ASPCA, is in the tenth year and Dr. Appel now serves on the Conference Planning Committee for this event.

Prior to her current positions, Dr. Appel was a staff member at the ASPCA, where she was the director of shelter veterinary outreach. In this position, she represented the ASPCA with regard to spay/neuter issues as well as other shelter medicine topics. While at the ASPCA, she received the ASPCA’s Angel Award in recognition for her contribution to animal welfare.

Before joining the ASPCA, Dr. Appel was a full-time faculty member at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine where she served as an instructor in small animal surgery. She enhanced Cornell’s shelter medicine program by teaching the students spay and neuter surgical techniques utilizing animals from local shelters. During her tenure at Cornell, Dr. Appel also started the Cornell Animal Sterilization Assistance Program (C-ASAP), and was the director of Cornell Companions, a pet visitation program. While at Cornell, she received the Public Service Center Faculty Recognition Award, and the Katherine Cole Cortland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) award.

As a frequent speaker at local, regional and national conferences, she lectures on the topics of pediatric spay/neuter; high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter; as well as other shelter medicine topics. Dr. Appel authored the surgery chapter in the first textbook of shelter medicine, “Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff,” as well as the Canine Parvovirus and Coronavirus Chapter in “Infectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters.”  Her updated surgery chapter focusing on pediatric spay/neuter is published in the second edition of “Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff.”

Dr. Appel is a member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She has previously served on the AVMA's Animal Welfare Committee and on the ASV's Board of Directors.

Dr. Appel lives in Ithaca, N.Y. with her husband, Keith, their two compassionate children, Bailey and Boden, their beloved dog, BeeBee, and their treasured cat, Pip.



2013 AVMA Humane Award

Recognizes a non-veterinarian’s achievements in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.


Mark Tinsman

Born in a rural farming community in Virginia, as a preacher’s kid, Mark Tinsman spent much of his first five years on the farms of family friends, so from an early age interacting with animals was part of his life experience. His first family pet was an adopted barn cat that lived nearly 21 years. After moving from Virginia and settling in Delaware, his first dog entered and shared his life. For most of his years, he has shared his home with dogs (and humans, of course) for the enrichment and companionship that they provide.

For a majority of the 28 years he spent as a Red Cross volunteer or employee, Tinsman developed an appreciation for the importance of household pets in the lives of disaster victims. After joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a mass care specialist in 2006, one of his primary roles has been facilitating household pet and service animal coordination and support issues.

He has worked with organizations such as the AVMA, North American Regional Science Council (NARSC), National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP), and numerous federal partners to develop and promote humane options for disaster survivors and their pets to evacuate and shelter before or following a disaster. Given years of interaction with animals, the opportunity to combine a passion for animal welfare and disaster relief activities together has been a unique experience. Whether working with partners on planning activities or deployed to the field following a disaster, the chance to assist people and their pets has made his work life all the more satisfying.



2013 AVMF/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research

Recognizes a candidate’s long-term contribution to the field of canine research.


Kenneth W. Simpson, BVM&S, Ph.D., DipACVIM, DipECVIM-CA

Kenneth W. Simpson graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1984, and gained a Ph.D. in gastroenterology at the University of Leicester in 1988. He completed an internship at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and a medicine residency at The Ohio State University in 1991. He returned to the U.K. as a lecturer at the other Royal Veterinary College and subsequently joined the faculty at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1995.

He is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is a past-president of the Comparative Gastroenterology Society and a recipient of the National Phi Zeta and Pfizer awards for research, and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Bourgelat Award for outstanding contributions to the field of small animal practice. His research interests are centered below the diaphragm, with a focus on inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (including the pancreas and liver), host bacterial interactions in health and disease, and culture independent bacteriology.



2013 AVMF/Winn Feline Foundation Award

Honors a candidate’s long-term contribution to advancing feline research.


William Murphy, Ph.D.

William Murphy received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in 1997 from Tulsa University, and completed his postdoctoral work at the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute. He worked as a senior scientist at National Institutes of Health (NIH) before joining Texas A&M University in 2004.

His research focuses on two broad yet complementary themes: mammalian phylogenetics and conservation genetics, specifically seeking to catalogue the extent of living mammalian biodiversity on Earth, and interpret patterns of correlated genetic and environmental changes that contribute to diversification and extinction of populations and species; and Mammalian comparative genomics, specifically focusing on mapping and annotating the domestic cat genome, towards identifying genes as models of human disorders as well as those relating to species adaptation and reproductive isolation.

Dr. Murphy has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and volumes, including many in Science and Nature. His lab has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Morris Animal Foundation, Cat Health Network, Winn Feline Foundation, American Kennel Club – Canine Health Foundation, and The Snow Leopard Conservancy.



2013 AVMA Lifetime Excellence Research Award

Recognizes a veterinary researcher on the basis of lifetime achievement in basic, applied, or clinical research.


Gustavo Aguirre, DVM, Ph.D.

Dr. Gustavo D. Aguirre is professor of medical genetics and ophthalmology at The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his undergraduate, veterinary, and doctoral degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed a residency in ophthalmology in the School of Veterinary Medicine before serving as a post-doctoral fellow at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Aguirre joined the faculty at Penn in 1973, where he rose to hold joint professorial appointments in the veterinary and medical schools. From 1992–2004, he was at the James A. Baker Institute of Cornell University as the Caspary professor of ophthalmology. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and the The Seeing Eye, Inc.

Dr. Aguirre has received numerous awards including an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from the faculty of mathematics and natural sciences, University of Göteborg, Sweden; the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)/Waltham International Award for Scientific Achievement; The Foundation Fighting Blindness Trustee Award; Scientist of the Year; Heart Sight Miami/Foundation Fighting Blindness Award; The O.N.C.E. International Prize for R&D in Biomedicine and New Technologies for the Blind; the International Prize in Canine Health; and he was a co-recipient of the Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research. He is an elected fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies.



2013 Inaugural William F. McCulloch Award for Excellence in HAI Practice or Education

Acknowledges outstanding achievements of practitioners and educators in the field of human-animal relations.


Elizabeth Ormerod, BVMS, MRCVS, FRSA

Dr. Elizabeth Ormerod is a Scottish veterinary surgeon with 37 years of experience in companion animal practice. She became attuned to the importance of the human-animal bond (HAB) in 1975 while managing the University of Glasgow’s inner city charity clinic. In 1984 she and her husband, a veterinary pathologist, purchased a companion animal practice. Strategies were developed to assess, support and strengthen clients’ human-animal bonds, creating a bond-centered practice.

As a Churchill Fellow and during subsequent study trips, Dr. Ormerod has had opportunities to visit outstanding Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) programs in the United States, Europe and Japan. Working with colleagues from the other health and social care professions, she has introduced AAI programs to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and prisons.

Dr. Ormerod is co-founder of Canine Partners, the U.K. assistance-dog program, is a visiting lecturer on the HAB at U.K. veterinary schools and is a trainer on AAI courses offered by the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS). She is the current chairman of the SCAS (www.scas.org.uk), an international, interdisciplinary HAB membership organization, the first of its kind to be established in the world and the largest outside North America.



2013 Distinguished Scholar Award

Recognizes a corpus of published work (books, journal articles, and/or book chapters) that is judged to have made a particularly significant or scholarly contribution to our understanding of human-animal interactions and relationships


Harold Herzog, Ph.D.

Dr. Harold Herzog received a B.S. in psychology from the American University of Beirut and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. Originally trained in animal behavior, his ethological studies ranged from investigations of personalities in snakes to the vocal communication system of alligators. For the past 25 years, his research has focused on human-animal interactions. These have included studies of the psychology of animal activists, the moral thinking of cockfighters, gender differences in attitudes towards animals, the decision-making processes of animal care and use committees, and factors that fuel rapid shifts in dog breed popularity. His articles have appeared in journals such as Science, the American Psychologist, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Anthrozoös, Society and Animals, Animal Behavior, the American Scholar, and Biology Letters.  He serves on the editorial boards of Society and Animals and Ethics and Behavior, and is associate editor of Anthrozoös.  His book “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals” (Harper) has been translated into nine languages, and he writes a blog on human-animal interactions (“Animals and Us”) for Psychology Today magazine.

An award-winning teacher, he is professor of psychology at Western Carolina University. He lives in the Smoky Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Mary Jean, and their cat, Tilly.



2013 AVMA Public Service Award

Recognizes an AVMA member veterinarian for long terms of outstanding public service or unusual contributions to the practice or science of public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.


Millicent Eidson, MA, DVM, DACVPM

Dr. Millicent Eidson is a research scientist with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), serving as a co-lead on climate change and health. She is also associate professor and associate chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany School of Public Health.

Her broad perspective on One Health began with a focus on social psychology, followed by her 1983 DVM degree from Colorado State University. As a veterinary student, she explored public health through a Giardia study and a birth defects externship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the National Cancer Institute, she participated in cancer research and characterized mortality risks from tornadoes. In 1985 she joined the New Mexico Health Department as its environmental epidemiologist, and became state public health veterinarian in 1986. She conducted studies on feline plague, food and water-borne diseases, and lead contamination. Her proudest accomplishment was the first investigation associating l-tryptophan consumption with a new disease, eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, leading to an FDA ban.

After joining NYSDOH in 1997, she established the first dead bird reporting system as an early indicator of human risk to West Nile virus. Her leadership with the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, the Epidemiology Specialty of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, and the American Association of Public Health Veterinarians has rewarded her with opportunities to work collaboratively on One Health issues with public health and regulatory veterinarians in local, state, federal, academic, and non-governmental organizations.





2013 AVMA Meritorious Service Award

Recognizes an individual veterinarian who has brought public honor and distinction to the veterinary profession through personal, professional, or community service activities that are conducted outside the scope of organized veterinary medicine or research.


Cathy King, DVM, MS, Ph.D.

Dr. Cathy King is the chief executive officer and founder of World Vets, an international veterinary aid organization. She grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho and attended the University of Idaho where she completed her B.S. in veterinary science. She is a 1997 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and also completed a M.S. in animal science and Ph.D. in animal physiology from the University of Idaho, having completed her second doctorate by the age of 25.

Before starting World Vets, she was a mixed animal practitioner for seven years and then started Hometown Animal Hospital, a progressive small animal hospital located in Deer Park, Wash. She sold her practice in 2008 to provide full time leadership for World Vets.

The organization currently provides veterinary aid in 36 developing countries worldwide with programs focused on small animals, horses, livestock and public health.  World Vets is the veterinary NGO that provides civilian veterinarians for U.S. military humanitarian aid missions (Pacific Partnership and Continuing Promise) each year and also provides international disaster relief services.

World Vets runs an International Veterinary Medicine Program geared toward veterinary and technician students and also runs the Latin America Veterinary Training Center, which is a year-round clinic in Nicaragua that provides surgical and anesthesia training programs for veterinarians and upper level veterinary students from all over Central and South America.

Over 900 veterinarians volunteer with World Vets, which deploys a veterinary team nearly every week of the year to locations worldwide.



2013 AVMA Advocacy Award

Recognizes an individual for his/her contribution to advance the AVMA’s Legislative Agenda and advocate on behalf of the veterinary profession.


U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader

From the first day U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), a veterinarian, won election to Congress in 2008, he has shown himself to be a diligent and conscientious lawmaker who steadfastly works to advance policies and initiatives beneficial for the veterinary profession, food safety and animal health and welfare. Rep. Schrader is a reliable and trusted resource for fellow lawmakers who seek his counsel on issues concerning veterinary medicine and small business management.

In March, Congressman Schrader introduced the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act, which would make the Veterinary Medicine Loan Prepayment Program tax exempt. In April, Rep. Schrader introduced the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which would allow veterinarians to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice without a separate registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Rep. Schrader has also cosponsored the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act and the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013, two of AVMA’s high-priority bills for animal welfare.

Rep. Schrader’s persistent work and political acumen has helped to ensure that key provisions of importance to the veterinary profession were included in the House version of the Farm Bill during the last congressional session. Among these provisions is the establishment of a competitive veterinary services grant program to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services. Those efforts during the last session continue in the current Congress.

Rep. Schrader is a member of the House Agriculture Committee where he is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture. He also sits on the House Small Business Committee. Along with fellow veterinarian U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Rep. Schrader is a founding member of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus.



2013 XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize

Recognizes outstanding service by a member of the Association who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine.


Corrie Brown, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP

Corrie Brown received her Bachelor of Science in animal behavior from McGill University and her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.  She completed a combined residency/Ph.D. in comparative pathology at the University of California at Davis.

She was an assistant professor of pathology at Louisiana State University briefly before joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture at Plum Island, where, as head of the Pathology Section, she specialized in the diagnosis and pathogenesis of transboundary animal diseases. In 1996, she joined the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine as professor of veterinary pathology.

In 2003, she was honored with the university’s highest teaching award, being named a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Brown has worked internationally in building animal health infrastructure and diagnostics for more than 25 years. She has conducted workshops on basic field necropsy and diagnostic techniques in 30 countries. Dr. Brown has served on many national and international expert panels about animal health and has received numerous awards for her efforts. She is happiest when working on animal health issues with veterinarians in a developing-country setting.



2013 Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Headed Cane Award (two awards)

Recognizes the achievement of an individual concerned with animal health who has significantly advanced human health through the practice of veterinary epidemiology and public health.


Yoshihiro Ozawa, DVM, Ph.D.

Dr. Yoshihori Ozawa graduated with his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Tokyo in 1954, following that with his M.S. from Colorado State University in 1957 and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1959. Throughout his career, he has spent almost all of his time in the international community with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Japan National Institute of Health working for the prevention and management of high impact animal diseases.

For example, he spent nine years (1962–1972) working on a tissue culture-based vaccine for African Horse Sickness. This resulted in the eradication of the disease in the Near East and in most Mediterranean countries. His most recent achievement and the most important of his career is his role in the eradication of Rinderpest in the world, a joint campaign of the FAO and OIE, which was announced by OIE in 2011.

Dr. Ozawa has been a prolific scientific writer for his entire career, with over 200 publications in print including three books. “Highly Infectious Diseases of Animals” came out in 1996 followed by “International Veterinary Medicine” in 2006. His most recent book is entitled “Exotic Diseases of Animals,” which came out in 2011.

Dr. Ozawa has received many distinguished awards and recognition throughout his career. For example, he received the FAO Medal for Global Eradication of Rinderpest in 2011. He was named an Honorary Diplomate of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society in 1988.



William McCulloch, DVM, MPH

After two years in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and one year in a private small animal practice, Dr. William McCulloch developed a penchant for more knowledge in a quest to better understand the dynamics of the human-animal interface. It was only logical for him to complete a master’s in Public Health in 1960 as a Public Health Service extern at the University of Minnesota. This experience piqued his interest in zoonotic diseases. For the nearly 30 years, he conducted significant research on many zoonoses such as leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, ringworm and giardiasis leading to influential publications in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Medical Education, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Journal of Applied Microbiology and others. He developed the first course on zoonotic diseases ever taught in a college of pharmacy. In addition, he consulted extensively for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in South America and the Caribbean basin. He is co-author/editor of “Diseases Transmitted from Animals to Man” published in 1975, one of the only texts of its kind in the world at the time. Dr. McCulloch has over 100 scientific publications to his credit, including chapters in three books.

Dr. McCulloch has always been a team player, an agent for healthy change, and always ready to donate his time and expertise to help advance organized veterinary medicine. For example, he chaired the AVMA Continuing Education Advisory Committee from 1968 to 1978. Under his rein, the AVMA Executive Board created the first full-time position overseeing continuing education for the AVMA and also approved this historic addition to the Veterinarian’s Oath in 1969: “I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.”

Dr. McCulloch was the chair and/or an active member of the AVMA Council on Education, 1976 to 1984. As president of the Association of Teachers of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, he organized a PAHO workshop to develop the first competency-based curriculum in veterinary public health in 1973. In 1974, he created the first urban-based veterinary extension position at the University of Missouri for the purpose of advancing the field of animal control and a better understanding of the human/animal interface. In 1976, he brought the Texas A&M colleges of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine together to host the first ever Symposium on Ethics and History of Medicine, Veterinary and Human. This early One Health endeavor is further evidence of how Dr. McCulloch always seemed to be decades ahead of his contemporaries. In the same vein, he became the first director of the newly created Institute of Comparative Medicine in 1974, a collaborative effort with Texas A&M University and Baylor College of Medicine as partners. He also served as a professor of environmental health at the University of Texas School of Public Health and a professor of microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine.

As science and field research projects began winding down later in his career, Dr. McCulloch began exploring his passion to better understand the complexities of human-animal relationships and how they can lead to better physical and mental health for people. He teamed up with his brother Michael, a leading psychiatrist, and Dr. Leo Bustad, a well-known visionary in veterinary medicine. Dr. McCulloch discovered early on that very little was published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature on this subject.  Working closely with his brother and colleagues, the Delta Foundation was formed (later renamed the Delta Society) in 1977. Four years later, Dr. McCulloch led the way to initiating the AVMA’s Human-Animal Bond Task Force and became its founding chair.  He worked behind the scenes with the Delta Society to help pass the Housing and Urban Rural Recovery Act of 1983. This legislation set the stage for promoting the therapeutic significance of pets. The rest is history. The collective impact of the Delta Society and other organizations with similar missions is enormous. Truly, Dr. McCulloch will go down in history as having helped to birth the vital concept we now refer to as the human-animal bond. His pioneering work has led to improved quality of life for millions of people all over the world.

At a time in his career when most folks are slowing down, Dr. McCulloch accepted the position of associate dean for medical programs at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. From 1987 to 1989, he worked to improve curricula and student programs. In 1990 he became administrative director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center of Oregon where he helped nurture a complex joint research program involving two hospitals and Oregon Health and Sciences University. In 1997, he became development director of the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital, a non-profit group in Portland, Ore. that is heavily involved in promoting animal-assisted therapy and more. While in this position, the hospital received a $7.6 million bequest.

2013 AVMA President’s Award (three awards)

Recognizes individuals and groups inside and outside veterinary medicine who have made a positive impact on animal, human or public health, veterinary organizations and the profession.


Link Welborn, DVM, DABVP

The award states: "In recognition of his outstanding contribution of time, wisdom and leadership as Chair of the Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee and the Workforce Advisory Group, 2012- 2013."

Dr. Link Welborn is the owner of four American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited small animal hospitals in Tampa, Fla. and is a past president of AAHA. A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in canine and feline practice, he earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine with honors from the University of Florida in 1982.

Dr. Welborn has served in numerous leadership roles with AAHA and AVMA.

These include serving as chairman of the AAHA task forces that produced the most recent major enhancements and revisions to the Standards of Accreditation for primary care small animal practices; the first Standards of Accreditation for small animal specialty practices; and the 2011 Canine Vaccination Guidelines.

Dr. Welborn was also a member of the AAHA/AVMA Task Force that developed the Canine and Feline Preventive Healthcare Guidelines for the Partners for Healthy Pets initiative.

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI), is currently a member of Veterinary Management Group 1, and is the vice president and chairman of the Strategic Opportunities Committee of Veterinary Study Groups.

He is the AAHA Delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates and the chair of the AVMA Economics Strategy Committee and chaired the AVMA Workforce Advisory Group, which was responsible for the 2013 Veterinary Workforce Study.

Dr. Welborn has received the AAHA Practitioner of the Year Award, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Achievement Award, and Florida Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year Award.



Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS

The award states: "For recognizing the value of our heritage and, in our sesquicentennial year, helping us to better understand and preserve our past and the people whose contributions built the veterinary profession."

Dr. Donald F. Smith earned his DVM with distinction from the University of Guelph and completed a large animal residency at the University of Pennsylvania. His early career focused on food animal and equine surgery at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Returning to Cornell as department chair and associate dean in 1987, he led the development of the new veterinary curriculum now in its 21st year.

As dean (1997-2007), Dr. Smith repositioned Cornell as the premier veterinary college in the country and as the academic medical center on the Cornell campus. He established academic priorities in cancer biology and oncology, genomics and medical genetics, and pathogenic bacteriology, and reconfigured the departmental structure to align with 21st century medicine. It was the most substantial departmental reconfiguration in the history of the college. Extramural research funding increased substantially, and a $55-million life sciences building was completed in 2007. Funding was also obtained for a new diagnostic laboratory. Clinical residency and graduate programs expanded significantly, and a DVM/Ph.D. program was established. Cornell regained number one ranking among U.S. veterinary colleges in 2000, a position it holds to the present.

As dean emeritus, Dr. Smith devotes his time to teaching and to researching the history of veterinary medicine largely through oral interviews. He teaches a course called Veterinary Medicine, The Versatile Profession and his blog has readers in over 100 countries. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the AVMA, Smith authors “Perspectives in Veterinary Medicine” (www.veritasDVMblog.com). He is a member of the National Academy of Practices.

American Association of Equine Practitioners

The award states: "In recognition of strong initiatives that promote the health and wellness of horses and for effectively collaborating with AVMA to advance our common interests."

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to equine veterinary medicine. Founded in 1954, the AAEP is comprised of nearly 10,000 veterinarians and veterinary students who dedicate their life's work to caring for the horse. The AAEP brings together its diverse membership from private practice, academia, regulatory medicine and research in the pursuit of one mission – to improve the health and welfare of the horse.

It is through this mission that the AAEP serves as a respected source of information for the equine industry. From animal welfare to uniform medication rules in equine competition, the AAEP dedicates resources to provide a consistent veterinary perspective to contemporary issues affecting horse health. The professional development of today’s equine veterinarian also is a primary goal of the association. The AAEP Annual Convention and the association’s six ancillary education events attract veterinarians from around the world who want to stay current on the latest clinical information and trends in equine medicine.

For more information, please visit the AVMA web site at www.avma.org.



The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities.

Guide, handicapped assistance, detection, therapy, military and rescue animal owners have until June 15 to sign up for free dental exams

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) April 25, 2013—Service animals – including guide dogs, service dogs, working dogs, military dogs, and search and rescue dogs – selflessly give so much to the people they serve and the public. The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) is giving back to these incredibly talented animals by offering free dental exams to service animals for the entire month of June and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has wholeheartedly endorsed that contribution to some of our nation’s hardest workers.

“I’m enthusiastic about this program because it helps keep service animals healthy so they can do the important work that helps so many people. From helping the sight impaired to finding a lost child during a disaster or detecting explosives at airports, service dogs are tops in their field. But they can’t tell you when their teeth hurt—only a veterinarian can do that,” says Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA. “Dental problems are the most common health problems veterinarians see in dogs and cats, and they can be painful and debilitating if not treated appropriately. More importantly, prevention is a great deal better than any cure. A recent study showed that the average cost to treat dental disease is three times more than the cost ofprevention. By identifying dental issues early in our service animals, we can help these wonderful animals keep doing work they love to do.”

During the Service Dog Oral Healthcare Exam program, AVDC veterinary dental specialists will provide complimentary oral healthcare examinations, looking for signs of periodontal disease, fractured teeth, discolored teeth, oral masses, and other oral and dental diseases that can cause pain or discomfort for service dogs. If oral or dental abnormalities are found, a treatment plan will be discussed. Also, the AVDC program will also offer grants to help cover the cost of some of the expenses of the dental care these service animals might need. The support for these treatments is available on a first-come, first-served basis and through the approval of participating veterinarians.

As an added plus, the veterinary dental specialists will teach service dog owners and handlers about the benefits of preventative oral healthcare.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for AVDC veterinarians to offer service dogs a necessary and potentially life-saving service,” says Dr. Jan Bellows DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, president of the AVDC. “The American Veterinary Dental College is proud to be the organizer of this fine event. Many of those service dogs that are in need of dental care can get it and continue to serve the public pain free.”

Owners and handlers of service animals that have been certified by a formal training program or enrolled in a training program can register online from May 1 until June 15, 2013 at the AVDC website: AVDC.org. Once registered, owners or agents will receive a registration number and a list of participating veterinary dentists in their area whom they can contact to schedule an appointment during June. Times may vary, depending on the facility, and appointments are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the AVMA, please visit www.avma.org.


The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities.

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