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The veterinarian's responsibility to recognize and report animal abuse

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  • 1 City of Palo Alto Animal Services, 3281 E Bayshore Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303.
  • | 2 The Pryor Foundation, PO Box 216, El Granada, CA 94018.

Recently, social worker Lynn Loar and her dog were waiting their turn to see the veterinarian when a couple, their 21-month-old daughter, and their 13-week-old unaltered male Presa Canario puppy arrived. The puppy, being large and adorable, attracted a lot of attention, and its owners were very happy to talk about it. It was named Rocko, and the veterinary appointment was not for neutering. Their toddler was jabbing at, rather than petting, Loar's five-year-old spayed mixed-breed dog, and she shuddered to think of what fate might befall this small child. Let us hasten to add that this veterinary practice is

Contributor Notes

Dr. Yoffe-Sharp is City Veterinarian for the City of Palo Alto, Calif.

She oversees all medical and surgical protocols in Palo Alto's open-door municipal animal shelter.

She is a member of the AVMA and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) and is the immediate past-president of the ASV.

Dr. Loar is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in abuse and neglect, the president of The Pryor Foundation, and the coauthor of Teaching empathy: animal-assisted therapy programs for children and families exposed to violence.

Alameda, Calif: The Latham Foundation, 2004.

Opinions or statements expressed in JAVMA Commentaries reflect the views of the authors and do not represent official policy of the American Veterinary Medical Association unless so stated.