Torrance Hornsby, a prisoner at Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson, La., holds a dog for a skin scraping by Louisiana State University veterinary student Robert Vennen (left). Fellow students David Cradic and Lauren Dubuc stand by.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Within prison walls

Veterinary students in Louisiana are training inmates in shelter animal care

Story and photos by Greg Cima

Alexis Solis removes her stethoscope and leans her head close to Lady Red, a 5 1/2-year-old Beagle.

Jason Broom, a prisoner at Dixon Correctional Institute, watches from across an examination table in the prison's animal shelter as Solis, a veterinary student, listens to wheezing when the Beagle inhales. During the examination, he describes the treatment regimen he has been giving Lady Red for heartworm infection, anterior uveitis of unknown origin in the dog's remaining eye, and digestive difficulties.

Solis is one of four fourth-year students from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine who, under the supervision of Drs. Wendy Wolfson and Brandy Duhon, examined and, in some cases, prescribed treatments for 13 dogs and one cat during a mid-October morning at Pen Pals, a no-kill animal shelter inside the Dixon institute in Jackson, La. The visit to the prison is part of LSU's clinical animal shelter rotation.

While Solis and fellow student Lauren Dubuc listened to Lady Red's breathing, Dr. Wolfson jokingly suggested avoiding a deep search for more problems in a dog that has had so many. Broom replied, “We need to try to find something right with her.”

LSU students and faculty have taught Broom how to provide daily care for Lady Red, including administering heartworm treatment, medicated eye drops, and antibiotics. He loves animals, and, at that time, was responsible for 16 of the dogs in Pen Pals, where he has worked during its three years in operation.

“While I was incarcerated, I felt like this would be the best way to spend my time: to learn something about my passions,” he said.

The best care with limited resources

Dr. Wolfson, the instructor in charge of LSU's shelter medicine program, is trying to produce veterinarians who will give the best clinical care with limited resources and will want to work in animal shelters, in a program that she hopes will reduce recidivism among inmates. Pen Pals is among more than 30 shelters in the region that participate in LSU's shelter medicine clinical rotation.

“Those inmates truly have the nicest shelter that we go to,” she said. She added that it is clean, the animals receive great attention, and the record keeping is “wonderful.”

Most of the inmates working in the shelter are meticulous in identifying health issues and changes in the animals under their care as well as in administering treatments prescribed by the students, Dr. Wolfson said. Some of those inmates recently identified Demodex infestation in a dog, collected skin scrapings, and prepared a slide sample for Dr. Wolfson's confirmation.

“It is amazing what they are capable of doing, and it's all because our students have taught them,” she said.

At Dixon, six prisoners work with, and learn from, LSU students. Four others in the program have been released, said Col. John C. Smith, who has supervised operations at the shelter since it opened in August 2010. Several hundred dogs and cats have been adopted from the shelter during that time.

The prison first accepted stray and displaced animals following Hurricane Katrina, when about 270 dogs, cats, and farm birds were housed in a barn on the prison grounds.


Torrance Hornsby holds Brittney ahead of the dog's examination.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490


Jason Broom, a prisoner at Dixon, holds Lady Red amid the cages in the Pen Pals shelter's open-air pavilion.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Shelter through normal and difficult times

Bernard Unti, a senior policy adviser for the Humane Society of the United States, said the HSUS gave $600,000 to Dixon to build the shelter as part of a multimillion-dollar effort to improve the animal care infrastructure in Louisiana and Mississippi following Katrina.

“What we actually gave them the money to construct there was not only a holding facility and a clinic for basic animal care but also a facility that could serve in future emergencies as kind of an emergency overflow shelter and function within response plans of state and federal agencies,” Unti said.

That emergency capacity was used during Hurricane Gustav in 2008, when animals were moved to Dixon from an animal shelter southwest of New Orleans, according to the HSUS.

The HSUS also gave LSU $800,000 to establish the shelter medicine program.

The shelter today comprises the adoption center, a pavilion with cages, a few agility obstacles, and a habitat built for turtles confiscated from a hoarder.

Pen Pals is the only animal shelter in East Feliciana Parish, an area of about 450 square miles with 20,000 residents. Yet, Smith noted that the shelter can accept limited numbers of animals, because it is funded only by grants and donations and because many of the cages in its open-air pavilion are intended for use as emergency housing when animals are evacuated from coastal areas.

The facility is not supposed to take more than 52 dogs, for example, even though it often does—particularly outside hurricane season. The animal population typically includes about 60 dogs and 15 to 30 cats, Dr. Wolfson said.

Praise for the caregivers

During the mid-October visit, the students circled a small table and took turns leading examinations and announcing their thoughts and findings for Dr. Wolfson and Dr. Duhon, a fellow in the LSU shelter medicine program. Prisoners held the dogs or stood nearby to answer students' questions about medical history and observations. Other prisoners working in the building sat nearby with the next dogs up for examination, ran for towels or other supplies, or watched the examinations.


Dr. Wendy Wolfson talks about the medical history of a dog held by prisoner Jason Broom and examined by LSU veterinary students.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Afterward, Solis said it was clear that the prisoners cared about the animals, and the shelter work was not just a job. She was particularly impressed by one inmate's request for more information on how to determine a dog's age.

One of the rotation's previous participants, fourth-year student Ashley Gagne, who visited the prison in September, similarly said the inmates who care for the animals at Dixon were helpful and knowledgeable, and provided better deworming and vaccination than did many other shelters.

“They went into great detail about any observations they made on the progress or decline of their animals' conditions, and their concern was always obvious,” she said. She later also said the shelter “has clear benefits for the animals and also appeared to bring the prisoners enjoyment and a strong sense of responsibility.”

Most students in the shelter rotation visit the prison once, although some visit twice or not at all.

Dr. Dana Finney, a volunteer who has spayed and castrated dogs and performed other surgeries on the Pen Pals animals over the past three years, also said the shelter is one of the best she has seen. The inmates dote on the animals, spending time training them, playing with them, and generally providing attention, and their clinical skills improve with every visit, she said.

While the inmates are caregivers for the animals, Dr. Finney said her interaction with the inmates feels more like working with veterinary clinic staff than with clients. They are sensible, careful, and knowledgeable, she said.

In a tour of the shelter, Master Sgt. Kevin Tanner had told the students that the inmates they would work with are trained in tasks ranging from animal restraint to providing anesthesia in preparation for surgery.

“They do everything but cut,” he had said.

Rehabilitation and education

Dr. Wolfson said some prisoners working in the shelter may have been convicted of serious crimes, but she typically does not know why each is in prison.

“I don't ask them, and I don't care,” she said.

But she tells students to dress in a conservative manner, stay together, and tell the group if they are going to leave the examination room. Smith likewise said that, while the shelter is a good place to work, he keeps in mind that it is within a prison, and the workers are inmates.


LSU veterinary student Alexis Solis (right) and Dr. Brandy Duhon, a fellow in the LSU shelter medicine program, listen for wheezing in Lady Red.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Dixon limits which prisoners can work in the shelter, requiring an excellent conduct record and willingness to learn, and prohibiting participation by those convicted of sex-related crimes, Smith said. The program has taught participants patience and showed them the benefit of giving of themselves.

“It humanizes them tremendously, makes them realize that there's more in the world than just themselves,” Smith said.

Inmate James Ziegler said he helped with construction of the building, started working at the shelter when it opened, and, today, helps with duties ranging from bringing animals into the facility to monitoring the heart and respiratory rates of animals anesthetized for surgery.

555A certificate hanging near the shelter's front door also states that Ziegler has completed veterinary assistant and animal care training from a distance learning institution.

Ziegler previously worked on the prison farm, and he wants to work again with large animals—particularly horses or cattle—once he is released in 2017. He is serving a nine-year sentence for a robbery related to drugs, he said.


LSU veterinary student Lauren Dubuc examines a cat.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Ziegler can shoe and break horses, and he may try to work on a large ranch, starting over elsewhere in the country.

Unlike other parts of the prison, Ziegler said, those working inside the shelter do not have to take on a “hard role” to avoid having other prisoners walk over them.

“When you get here, the softer side comes out, the compassion for the animals,” he said. “We pretty much stick together.”

Jomo Carter groomed Boudreaux, a small, fluffy, white dog, before an examination. Carter, who also was convicted of drug charges, hopes to use the knowledge he has gained from the professors and students when he is released in 2016, possibly to continue grooming or otherwise working with dogs in New Orleans. He said he loves the program's work to rehabilitate dogs and cats for adoption, even though he has become attached to a few of the dogs.

“I know it'll be better for them to go to a home,” Carter said. “Yeah, I'm kind of attached to them, so it's a good thing to see them leave and a bad thing to see a dog that you've been around for a while get adopted.”

Broom, who was convicted of a drug distribution charge, said he would like to perform physical therapy work with dogs when he is released in 2016. He grew up with not only his family's dogs but also the strays and pets that people brought to his house for help. His father is a laboratory technician in human medicine, and that connection to medicine led people to bring him animals if, say, their dog became ill or they found a sick snake.

Broom said he feels attachment to dogs that have been in his care the longest.

“You learn after a while not to get too attached to them,” he said. “You still hope they go to a good home.”

Unfortunate news about one of his wards arrived later in October. While Lady Red's wheezing cleared within a day, Dr. Wolfson said test results showed the dog was positive for Brucella infection, and Lady Red was euthanized.

Students also provide clinical services on prison farms

Louisiana State University's shelter medicine program is unusual for the training its students give to prisoners caring for adoptable dogs and cats, but other universities also work with prisons, particularly with prison farms.

Texas A&M University is among those that have agreements through which students and faculty care for farm animals kept on prison grounds. TAMU has given veterinary care to animals owned by the state's prison system since at least the 1960s.

An agreement between the prison system and the university provides two-week rotations at prison farms across the state for students in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences—nearly all in their fourth year—to care for cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, and dogs.

The dogs and horses are used for security, and the rest provide food served in the state's prisons or income from selling offspring.

“There's a large number of animals of each species within the prison system, and the students have the ability to get their hands dirty, so to speak, and practice the technical skills that they'll need to be practicing veterinarians,” Dr. Brandon J. Dominguez said.

Dr. Dominguez, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M veterinary college, said students see diverse clientele and patients through the prison work. In treating those species, they are involved in deworming, vaccination, dentistry, pregnancy diagnosis, equine castration, anesthesia, blood sample collection, ophthalmology, artificial insemination, farm record analysis, herd maintenance, and routine examination.

Dr. Dominguez said the rotation also provides opportunities to perform specialty services. The university's equine theriogenology group, for example, spends weeks during breeding season scanning for follicles, collecting stallions, and breeding mares, and surgeons provide castration and hernia repairs.

Dr. Glennon B. Mays, a clinical associate professor, said the work with the criminal justice department is intended to serve two state agencies by giving needed veterinary care to animals and experience to the students. The prison farms generate food and reduce the prison system's costs, and benefits for inmates are not the primary consideration, he said.

But, Dr. Mays said he thinks some of the prisoners who work on the farms have a sense of responsibility for the animals and take pride in their work.

GHLIT insurance exchange gets off the ground

Dec. 15 is deadline to apply for medical coverage to take effect Jan. 1

By Katie Burns

Like the public insurance exchanges, the private insurance exchange from the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust got off to a slow start in October. By November, the exchange for AVMA members was selling health insurance in most of the states.

As of Nov. 4, the exchange had received about 2,000 calls, provided more than 1,000 quotes, submitted 334 applications, and issued 198 policies.

Dec. 15 is the deadline to apply for medical coverage to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

“We have plans available, and we've got the customer service staff to support that,” said Libby Wallace, GHLIT chief executive officer. “So if people have questions, or they're unsure about the benefit design, they can call, and we can help walk them through.”

The GHLIT exchange is at www.avmaghlitcare.org, and the phone number is 877-473-6017. In addition, many GHLIT policyholders have been purchasing new health insurance through their agents.

The Trust will stop offering health insurance for 17,500 AVMA members and their dependents at year's end, because it cannot find an underwriter. Underwriters are no longer willing to take on medical coverage for association plans because of the challenges of complying with provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Among other provisions, the Affordable Care Act requires individuals to purchase health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty. The enrollment period runs through March 31, 2014. Public and private insurance exchanges provide marketplaces for purchasing a plan.

As of Nov. 4, the GHLIT exchange was selling insurance via the website in 27 states and by phone in 42 states.

Wallace said insurance carriers had focused on providing plans for the public exchanges first, but more plans continue to become available on the GHLIT exchange. The Trust's exchange targets all members of the AVMA and Student AVMA, not just GHLIT policyholders, and offers plans only from A-rated carriers.

The experience of GHLIT exchange users has covered a broad spectrum, Wallace said.

“There's obviously frustration, and we understand that, from people that go to the exchange and can't find plans in their zip code,” Wallace said Nov. 4. “Yet, we had one member call us last week and say it was a very easy process, and they were able to quickly get a new plan, and they're ready to go.”

Wallace advised choosing a plan on the basis of individual needs rather than just the premium cost. Health insurance remains expensive, although it has become less expensive for some. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers cannot charge higher premiums for pre-existing conditions. Insurers can charge more on the basis of age, smoking status, and geography.

The GHLIT exchange is a free service. Trustees tapped operating expenses to set it up and are paying for ongoing operation of the exchange with royalties on sales of medical insurance through the exchange plus interest on the cost-stabilization reserve.

Some GHLIT policyholders have asked whether the Trust will return money from the reserve to policyholders after discontinuing medical coverage. Wallace said the GHLIT does not believe it will have excess money in the medical reserve after paying out claims.

Wallace added that the GHLIT exchange offers not only a marketplace for health insurance but also a one-stop shopping experience for the insurance plans that the Trust continues to offer. These plans include life, dental, vision, hospital indemnity, disability, and professional overhead insurance.

All good things must come to an end


(Photos courtesy of Dr. Fred Born)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

What a year it's been for the AVMA, which celebrated 150 years in 2013.

In recognition of the Association's sesquicentennial and the important work that veterinarians do every day, 26 states issued proclamations. And Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared July 23, 2013, to be American Veterinary Medical Association Day in the city during the AVMA Annual Convention there.

Also during the convention came the debut of “Animal Connections: Our Journey Together,” which was created by the Smithsonian Institution in collaboration with the AVMA and Zoetis. Housed in a mini-museum inside an expandable 18-wheeler, the exhibition introduces visitors to the human-animal bond.

The Smithsonian exhibition visited Washington, D.C., in late October and is slated to begin a nationwide tour in 2014. More information can be found at www.animalconnections.com.

Another exhibit (pictured), titled “History of the AVMA” and created in honor of the 150th anniversary, appeared at the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference in January 2013 and the AVMA convention in July. Dr. Fred Born (left), Susanne Whitaker, and Dr. Howard Erickson, members of the American Veterinary Medical History Society, spent months putting together the 4-foot by 8-foot, 43-panel tabletop display that highlighted the Association's accomplishments since its inception.

International Accreditors Working Group to meet in London

The AVMA Executive Board during an Oct. 25 conference call authorized an AVMA delegation to participate in an International Accreditors Working Group meeting Jan. 23–24, 2014, in London.

In 2007, the AVMA Council on Education, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Australasian Veterinary Boards Council agreed during a meeting in Melbourne, Australia, to explore a process of conducting joint accreditation site visits at veterinary schools that were being accredited separately by each of the three entities.

Toward that end, an International Accreditors Working Group was formed and met in 2007 and 2011. Each of the three parent organizations approved a plan proposed at the 2011 meeting to conduct four joint site visits by 2014 in accordance with AVMA COE guidelines and standards. Three visits have been completed, with the fourth scheduled for early 2014 to Massey University in New Zealand.

The RCVS will host the meeting, which will precede an AVMA COE site visit to University College Dublin School of Veterinary Medicine, saving travel costs.

The AVMA delegation will comprise the current and immediate past AVMA staff consultants to the COE, Drs. Karen Martens Brandt and David E. Granstrom; one COE member who was selected by the council, Dr. John R. Pascoe (who is also the COE representative to the AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs); the AVMA associate director for international and diversity initiatives, Dr. Beth Sabin; and, if they accept the invitation, one representative each from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and Canadian VMA, funded by their respective organizations.

The RCVS has invited the South African Veterinary Council and the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education to the January meeting as observers.

The agenda will include discussions on continuation of the joint site visit approach, refinement of that process, and future directions for veterinary accreditation.

The COE sees ongoing cooperation with the RCVS and AVBC in joint site visits—with each accrediting body making its own accreditation decisions—as a laudable goal.

Proposal would focus AVMA mission statement on members

The AVMA House of Delegates will consider an amendment to the AVMA Bylaws that would revise the Association's mission statement to focus on the membership of the Association.

The current mission statement is as follows: “The mission of the Association is to improve animal and human health and advance the veterinary medical profession.”

The proposed mission statement is: “The Mission of the AVMA is to serve, support, and advocate on behalf of its members, in order to advance the veterinary medical profession and, thereby, improve both animal and human health.”

The Vermont VMA submitted the proposed bylaws amendment along with the Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin VMAs and the American Animal Hospital Association, American Association of Feline Practitioners, and American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners.

“Our profession is facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty and turbulence,” according to the statement about the proposal. The statement continues later: “Our members and our profession need and demand a very strong association focused on their concerns, their issues, and their future. We need an association that makes the members its primary focus and not just an implied suggestion.”

The proposed bylaws amendment also would revise the objective of the AVMA. The current objective is “to advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to public health, biological science, and agriculture.”

The proposed objective of the AVMA is “to advance, promote, and represent the profession, science, and practice of veterinary medicine in the United States. By strengthening and supporting the education, research, and practice of veterinary medicine, the AVMA shall improve public health, animal health and welfare, biological sciences, and the lives of the veterinarians that compose its membership.”

The House of Delegates will consider the proposed bylaws amendment during its regular winter session, Jan. 11, 2014, in Chicago. Proposals going to the delegates are Available at www.avma.org/about/governance under “House of Delegates.” AVMA members can find contact information for their delegates by visiting www.avma.org/members and clicking on “My AVMA Leaders.”

AVMA seeks nominations to board

AVMA voting members in districts IV and XI have the opportunity to nominate representatives to the Executive Board.

Drs. Larry G. Dee, District IV representative, and Thomas F. Meyer, District XI representative, will complete their six-year terms in July 2014. The Association is sending a letter to each AVMA voting member in districts IV and XI to invite nominations for representatives to serve on the board for the next six-year term.

District IV comprises Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. District XI comprises Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Association will accept nominations for district representatives from a state VMA in the district or by petition of at least 50 AVMA voting members in the district.

District residents are eligible to run for the board if they have been AVMA voting members for at least the preceding five years. Nominations must include the completed nomination form, a letter from the candidate indicating a willingness to serve, a biographical summary, and a brief statement of the candidate's reasons for seeking office.

Information about the nomination process will be available online in mid-December at www.avma.org/Members/Volunteer by clicking on “Current Volunteer Opportunities.” Information also is available by emailing OfficeEVP@avma.org.

Feb. 1, 2014, is the deadline for receipt of nominations for district representatives. If a district has more than one nominee, the Association will mail a ballot to all AVMA voting members in the district.

Video summarizes compounding rules

The AVMA has released a video for veterinarians titled “Compounding 101” that summarizes the basic rules of drug compounding in veterinary medicine.

The narrator is Dr. Lori Teller, a companion animal practitioner. She says, “The AVMA wants you to know and understand the rules of compounding so you can make sound judgments based on current laws.”

The video is available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/AmerVetMedAssn.

Educator, leader, advocate

Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver champions the cause of animal welfare


Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver and Murphy

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

By R. Scott Nolen

Veterinary medicine was more of a calling than a career choice for Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver. “It chose me. I never knew I was going to do anything different,” she explained.

Dr. Beaver has devoted decades of her life to academia and organized veterinary medicine, training future veterinarians while helping chart the course of their profession. As a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, she played a part in formalizing the training and science promoting the behavioral well-being of animals.

Perhaps Dr. Beaver's most noteworthy contributions to veterinary medicine are in the field of animal welfare. During her address to the AVMA House of Delegates as AVMA president-elect in 2004, Dr. Beaver challenged the Association to take a greater leadership role in advocating for animal health and well-being.

At that time, she said animal industries and the public expect veterinarians to be the leaders in animal welfare, and yet, the AVMA had historically resisted taking on such a prominent role. “It's time to get our heads out of the sand,” Dr. Beaver declared.

She called on AVMA leaders to more fully engage the issue of animal well-being by establishing an animal welfare division within the Association, a proposal the Executive Board approved later that year. Today, the division is staffed by four experts in animal welfare, which remains a central focus of the Association.

Servant teacher

Dr. Beaver received her DVM degree from the University of Minnesota in 1968, and a year later, joined the faculty of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, where she is currently a professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences.

A board-certified animal behaviorist, Dr. Beaver has published more than 200 scientific articles, authored eight textbooks, and presented hundreds of seminars on animal behavior, the human-animal bond, and grief counseling to veterinarians and other health-care professionals, students, and pet owners.

“My passions are students and teaching,” Dr. Beaver said. “If I can help promote new knowledge and advance the profession, then that's a good thing. That's what teachers want to do: They want to help the next generation make the profession better than it is currently.”

In 1996, Dr. Beaver won the AVMA Animal Welfare Award. “Animals have benefited from Bonnie Beaver's work because of the knowledge she has gained about animal welfare, animal behavior, and how this is tied to the human-animal bond. … She's taught people what it is to know normal behavior in an animal; how to give animals good, responsible care; and how this may affect their behavior throughout life,” remarked former AVMA President Leon H. Russell, a TAMU faculty colleague at the time.

Five years later, Dr. Beaver was honored again, with the Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award.

Dr. Beaver has been involved in organized veterinary medicine her entire career. An active member of the Texas VMA since 1970, she served as president (1994–1995) and four terms on the TVMA board of directors in addition to being a member and chair of numerous association committees.

At the national level, Dr. Beaver has been involved with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Animal Hospital Association, American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Moreover, she is a founder and charter member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

“Legends in U.S. veterinary medicine”

In honor of the AVMA's 150th anniversary this year, JAVMA News has profiled 12 individuals who have made substantial contributions to the American veterinary profession, beginning with the Jan. 1, 2013, issue.

Additionally, Dr. Beaver has served on a number of professional advisory committees and task forces, including those of the Pew National Veterinary Education Program, National Academy of Sciences, and Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources.

Dr. Beaver's extensive volunteer work for the AVMA includes serving as president (2004–2005) and Executive Board member (1997–2003) and chair (2001–2002). She was a member of the AVMA Council on Education, American Board of Veterinary Specialties, Committee on the Human-Animal Bond, and Educational Commission on Foreign Veterinary Graduates, and chair of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia (1998–2000).


Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver testifies before a congressional committee about the welfare consequences of a federal ban on horse slaughter.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Welfare advocate

As a veterinarian, Dr. Beaver always wanted to help animals in a meaningful way. But it was during her term as AVMA president-elect that she fully grasped the importance of veterinarians being leaders in animal welfare. Congress was debating a federal ban on horse slaughter. For Dr. Beaver, a horse owner and lifetime member of the Palomino Horse Breeders of America, the issue hit close to home, because the welfare of unwanted horses was addressed only superficially in the proposed legislation.

“I realized we had better move our profession in the direction of leading in this area,” Dr. Beaver said.

This effort didn't stop with establishing the AVMA Animal Welfare Division. In 2012, the Executive Board granted provisional recognition to the American College of Animal Welfare—only the third organization in the world that certifies animal welfare specialists. It was the culmination of a seven-year journey, and for Dr. Beaver, a member of ACAW's organizing committee, the AVMA action was a long time coming.

“As with all other disciplines within the veterinary profession, there are multiple levels of expertise, and it's important for the profession to have individuals who are highly trained in the broad aspects of animal welfare and who understand the related science,” Dr. Beaver said at the time. Earlier this year, the college credentialed its first three diplomates.

Asked if there is any one achievement she is especially proud of, Dr. Beaver responded, “No. I just do what I do. If I see something in my interest area that needs to be done, I do it.”

FDA asks veterinarians to help investigate jerky treats

The Food and Drug Administration is asking veterinarians for help with the agency's investigation into the cause of pet illnesses and deaths associated with jerky treats from China.

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we've encountered,” said Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.

On Oct. 22, the CVM released an update on its investigation, Available at www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary under “Spotlight.” The update includes a description of the extent of the agency's testing and current findings as well as a “Dear Veterinarian” letter and a fact sheet for pet owners.

The letter asks veterinarians to post or distribute the fact sheet, to report cases of illness related to jerky treats, and to provide samples for diagnostic testing. The fact sheet lists steps that pet owners can take to prevent or detect illness related to the treats.

From early 2007 through late 2013, the FDA received more than 3,000 complaints of illness related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all imported from China. The reports involve more than 3,600 dogs along with 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths.

The FDA continues to inform pet owners that jerky treats are not required for a balanced diet. The FDA encourages pet owners to consult with their veterinarian prior to feeding treats and also if they notice signs of illness.

The rate of complaints associated with jerky treats dropped sharply when several well-known brands were removed from the market in January 2013 in response to a study conducted by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Marketing that detected low concentrations of antibiotic residues in those products. The FDA believes that the decrease in complaints is linked to the decrease in the availability of jerky treats rather than the antibiotics associated with the removed treats. Nevertheless, the FDA is evaluating the potential for low concentrations of the antibiotics to cause illness in dogs over time.


Chicken jerky treat

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

The FDA and its partners continue to identify cases of illness associated with jerky treats and to test animal tissue and product samples. The agency also continues to work with the manufacturers and distributors of the treats and China's Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to investigate potential sources of contamination or causes of illness.

ProHeart 6 available with fewer restrictions

ProHeart 6, an injectable drug that provides six months of heartworm prevention in dogs, has become available with fewer restrictions on its administration.

Manufacturer Zoetis made the announcement Aug. 28. According to Zoetis, the revisions to the Risk Minimization Action Plan for the drug are the result of safety history between June 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2012. Zoetis develops the RiskMAP, and the Food and Drug Administration approves the plan. The new RiskMAP allows use of the drug in healthy dogs older than 7 years, permits administration by veterinary technicians and assistants who complete online training and certification, and removes the requirement to obtain written client consent.

In September 2004, the FDA expressed concerns regarding reports of adverse events in dogs following use of ProHeart 6. The drug was voluntarily recalled from the U.S. market.

Additional studies of the drug to further evaluate safety included an epidemiologic study that found ProHeart's safety profile to be similar to two oral heartworm preventives. Further evaluation suggested a potential allergenic nature of residual solvents in the drug. After modifications in the manufacturing process, there was a decline in reports of adverse events in the international market.

In June 2008, ProHeart 6 was reintroduced to the U.S. market under the original RiskMAP. Prescribing veterinarians still must complete online training and certify they have read and understand the current label, conditions of use, and requirement to report adverse events.

Additional information is at www.ProHeart6dvm.com.

Counting dogs

Census tries to quantify Detroit's stray dog population

Detroit's stray dog population has been estimated in the thousands—as high as 50,000, according to some published reports. Forthcoming results of a census conducted may show the actual number of free-roaming dogs is much lower, however.

Tom McPhee is executive director of the World Animal Awareness Society, which is conducting the American Strays research project. For two days in September, volunteers fanned out across Detroit's 139 square miles to count the city's stray dogs. “We're not seeing mass numbers, we're not tripping over dogs in the streets that are biting us and chasing us,” McPhee was quoted as saying in a Michigan Live article published Sept. 23.

In September, National Public Radio's “All Things Considered” reported that, even if the stray count were to end up being much lower than 50,000, the bankrupt city still has a huge animal control problem. Detroit's three authorized shelters take in 15,000 stray dogs a year and can't cope with a further influx. Moreover, the city's animal control department has only a handful of active officers.

The city is filled with thousands of shuttered homes and buildings, now a haven for dogs. Detroit ranks sixth among cities with the most dog attacks on U.S. Postal Service employees.

The American Strays research project worked with Michigan State University to create a map dividing Detroit into 42 sections. Inside each section, 50 points were randomly placed. Volunteers traveled to each location and observed for 5 minutes for possible strays. Their data were documented by use of GPS technology and photography as well as descriptive coding of observed dogs.

The goals of the survey are to develop an accurate count of dog populations in Detroit while creating a set of data collection tools built in a user-friendly template for use elsewhere. Goals of the survey are to define the abundance and distribution of free-roaming dogs, show population trends over time, and provide insights into relationships between animal populations and human activities.

Preliminary results of the Detroit dog census are expected to be published in early 2014.

McPhee is also a filmmaker, and he's been working on a documentary that focuses on a few dogs in Detroit. “We think it's very important to tell this intimate portrait of what these animals are going through, because most of them have become outcasts and have been pushed out in society,” McPhee told Michigan Live.

“And we want people to reconnect with these animals, that they're beings, that they can connect with them and they're going through all these things —not just the bad interactions with people.”

FDA proposes animal food safety regulations

The Food and Drug Administration is accepting comments on proposed regulations intended to increase the safety of animal food.

The proposal, available since late October, indicates that the FDA would establish regulations on manufacturing practices intended to prevent contamination of animal food, as well as require that companies enact measures to control risks when animal food is made, processed, packed, or stored. The FDA is accepting comments through Feb. 26, 2014, and more information is available under docket number FDA–2011–N–0922 at www.regulations.gov.

“The proposed rule would require that a qualified individual prepare the food safety plan, validate preventive controls, review records for implementation and effectiveness of preventive controls and the appropriateness of corrective actions, and perform the required reanalysis of a food safety plan,” the FDA said in the Oct. 29 Federal Register notice.

The Federal Register notice indicates that the proposal would fulfill requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in January 2011 and directs the FDA to establish standards for identifying hazards and implementing risk controls in animal foods. The document indicates that, while the FDA had regulations for specific issues such as the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and tissue residues resulting from eating medicated feed, the agency had no comprehensive animal food safety regulations.

The proposal indicates that the FDA had been addressing specific animal food safety issues as they arose, as happened in 2007 with the adulteration of pet food with melamine and cyanuric acid by suppliers in China. About 1,050 animal foods would be recalled because of such contamination during 2007.

The Federal Register notice also cited animal food contamination with dioxin, aflatoxin, and Salmonella organisms in the total of 2,300 animal food recalls in fiscal years 2006–2012.

The $15,000 turkey

Behind the scenes of raising the National Thanksgiving Turkey


Former Virginia Gov. Westmoreland Davis with his turkeys at Morven Park, the newest home for pardoned turkeys (Courtesy of the National Turkey Federation)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

By Malinda Larkin

The two-hour trip to Washington, D.C., had been a bit unsettling for the pair of male turkeys, otherwise known as toms, or gobblers.

Their anxiety was exacerbated when they arrived at the press conference at the W Hotel, where they would be staying before their big day.

“I could tell one bird was on the edge and wanted to be somewhere familiar. He wouldn't eat. The other one was eating OK,” said Dr. Bob Evans, senior veterinarian for Cargill Turkey Production.

Around 3 the next morning, still concerned for the bird, Dr. Evans went to the turkeys' hotel room—a suite with sawdust and wood chips on the floor and a special avian “munchie box” with corn and cranberries—to check on it.

“I walk over, and he lays his head on me. I had him eating out of my hand,” he said. That turkey, Cobbler, ended up being the bird who was officially pardoned by President Barack Obama the next day during the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation in the Rose Garden.

“He did great. He strutted the whole time and put on a show that was incredible,” Dr. Evans said.

Picking the right one

Had you asked the poultry veterinarian a few years ago whether he had ever imagined himself bathing a turkey, brushing its feathers, and having it eating out of his hand, Dr. Evans' response would have been “Are you kidding me?”

But that's exactly what he did to prepare the birds for the big day.

Every year, the National Turkey Federation helps organize the presentation of a live turkey to the president of the United States just before Thanksgiving Day. The president invariably grants a “pardon” to the bird.

Keith M. Williams, vice president for communications and marketing at the NTF, said the delivery of the National Thanksgiving Turkey by the federation began during the Harry S. Truman administration. Governors also got turkeys during that time. However, it wasn't until the time of President George H.W. Bush that the full pardoning ceremony began (see sidebar, page 1506).

The way it works, the federation formally asks to visit the White House and to give a gift to the president. Then, the NTF chairman receives a formal invitation typically for the day before Thanksgiving.

The chairman brings two turkeys. “There's always a stand-in, like a vice president,” Williams said.

Though only one receives the official pardon, both are spared the butcher's knife.

Dr. Evans was asked to help last year by then NTF Chairman Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill Turkey Production.

The two turkeys were chosen from a small flock raised for this purpose. Dr. Evans had to adhere to the NTF's Animal Care Best Management Practices, which include recommendations ranging from biosecurity to a daily health evaluation. Turkey flocks are inspected at least twice a day, and more frequently when they are first placed in the barns.

Aside from providing health care, Dr. Evans, in the final weeks, was the hands-on handler.

Last year's 40 turkeys were raised on a farm near Harrisonburg, Va.

They received a lot of human contact and were played music around the clock to get used to loud noises and voices.

Pardon me

In 1947, the National Turkey Federation took on the role of official turkey supplier to the president of the United States, delivering a bird in time for the Christmas holiday, which later changed to Thanksgiving. That year, the White House also began holding a turkey receiving ceremony, usually in the Rose Garden, providing a photo op that many confuse with the beginning of the pardoning tradition. Back then, birds were more likely to be destined for the White House dining table, according to the White House Historical Association.

Turkeys had been spared before, such as when Abraham Lincoln's son, Tad, successfully begged his father to write out a presidential pardon for the bird meant for the family's Christmas table. And on Nov. 19, 1963, President John F. Kennedy decided to send that year's gift from the National Turkey Federation back to the farm where it came from. “We'll just let this one grow,” he said. Three days later, JFK was assassinated.

“President George H.W. Bush was the first to actually offer a turkey pardon. On Nov. 14, 1989, he announced that year's bird had ‘been granted a presidential pardon as of right now.’ He sent the turkey on its way to Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Va., and with that, a tradition was born,” according to a Nov. 23, 2011, White House Blog entry.

The park received the White House turkeys until 2004.

In 2005, the two pardoned birds—Marshmallow and Yam—were “a little skeptical about going to a place called Frying Pan Park,” said then President George W. Bush. “I don't blame them.”

From 2005–2010, Disneyland or Walt Disney World accepted the birds, where they were honorary grand marshals at the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Then a few years ago, Mount Vernon, George Washington's northern Virginia home, began accepting the birds. They go on public view as part of the “Christmas at Mount Vernon” exhibition, with a camel named Aladdin.

But now, instead of residing there permanently, for the first time this year, the turkeys will move after the holidays to Morven Park, once the home of former Virginia Gov. Westmoreland Davis, who raised turkeys. They will be fed corn, soybeans, and minerals and will be kept in comfort-controlled long turkey houses. The park already has two Bronze turkeys, the same breed that was raised there in the early 1900s.

The average lifespan of pardoned turkeys isn't well documented. A Huffington Post article last year quoted Disneyland Resort spokesman John McClintock saying they had been able to keep a few turkeys alive beyond their expected one to two years, thanks to a special diet devised by Disney animal keepers. The NTF says Liberty from 2011 and Cobbler from 2012 are still alive and doing great. Disney confirmed that Courage from 2009 is also going strong.

In the commercial industry, most turkeys are sent for processing at 20 weeks of age. The turkey breeder industry uses breeding males just over a year, according to Dr. Helen Wojcinski, science and sustainability manager at Hendrix Genetics.


One of John Burkel's daughters with a poult from this year's flock of potential National Thanksgiving Turkeys (Courtesy of the National Turkey Federation)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

A few weeks before the event, the flock had to be narrowed down by about half.

“The thing with the tom turkey is you don't know how they're going to color up at that critical age. We had to wait until we knew which birds we wouldn't take, so we didn't condition all of them,” Dr. Evans said.

He added, “You want a bird to be pretty—lots of blue and red and white—but you also need personality. We had one picked out that had all the personality—he was my favorite by far; he did everything right from the beginning—but he never colored, so we had to eliminate him.”

One of the final two, Cobbler, enjoyed cranberries and Carly Simon. The other, Gobbler, loved corn and enjoyed any music with a fiddle.

How was that known? “They gobble when you play music,” Dr. Evans said.

Besides playing music for the birds, Dr. Evans also never thought he'd spend hours grooming them.

“I was literally giving them baths and brushing them and trying to keep their feathers clean,” he said.

The estimated cost of raising the birds: $375 a pound. These birds weighed around 40 pounds, so overall, about $15,000 a turkey.

Preparing for the big 2013 day

This year's turkeys were raised by John Burkel, current chairman of the National Turkey Federation. He's a fourth-generation turkey grower who raises 13,000 hens every three to four weeks, from January to November, for the city of Thief River Falls' cooperative processing plant, Northern Pride. Of course, this experience is new to him.

“You do, to some extent, individually bond with a flock, realizing that to take care of a whole flock is to take care of each bird. It's just not every day you're presenting them in front of the president,” he said.

Back in July, he received a box of day-old poults. About three weeks later, he and his wife, Joni, and their five kids picked out 20 from the 80 that “looked like they had some personality” and moved them to a shed that he had built behind his house.

Burkel had the radio playing all day (“lots of John Mayer”) and sometimes all night (“Vivaldi is my favorite”) along with broadcasts of one of his daughters' volleyball games. Burkel's dogs would also mingle among the flock. Burkel said one of the past chairmen advised him to make sure they were used to dogs, because President George W. Bush's dog Barney went after the turkey one year.

The turkeys also had “tabletop exercises” in which they were trained to be calm standing on a higher surface. The group was whittled down from 20 to six as of mid-October.

“It's getting to the point where you can tell who's got that camera presence. You can tell the ones that seem to want to cooperate,” he said.


Dr. Bob Evans with Cobbler and Gobbler the day before the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation (Courtesy of Dr. Bob Evans)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Before the turkeys leave for D.C., they are having visitors of their own. Children from the local elementary school came to see the turkeys, and so did a chemistry class from the high school that helped Burkel draw blood on his flock as a lesson on how to conduct avian influenza surveillance.

Burkel said the NTF realizes that turkeys at Thanksgiving have become a part of the image of being thankful, and the organization is happy to be associated with that.

“And doing the event is a great time to reiterate that to the public—that what we bring to the table, so to speak, is safe, nutritious food, and the fact that the president is doing that with us is great,” Burkel said.

On the world stage

World Veterinary Association looks to past, future during congress


The first international congress of veterinarians in 1863 led to the modern World Veterinary Congress and World Veterinary Association. (Photos courtesy of the WVA)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

By Katie Burns

In 1863, Dr. John Gamgee of Britain convened the first international congress of veterinarians to discuss control of epizootic diseases. From that meeting in Germany evolved the modern World Veterinary Congress and World Veterinary Association.

The WVA celebrated its 150th anniversary during the 31st WVC, Sept. 17–20 in Prague. The 2013 conference offered multiple tracks—with a symposium on animal welfare, a summit on partnerships in animal and human health, and a summit on mental health in the veterinary profession. The conference attracted more than 1,350 attendees from 75 countries, including a delegation from the AVMA.

The functions of the WVA have expanded beyond conducting scientific congresses, said Dr. Lyle P. Vogel, one of two North American councilors to the WVA and previous AVMA assistant executive vice president.

“The WVA is the organization that gets the voice on the world stage to speak for the profession and to advance the interests of veterinarians worldwide,” Dr. Vogel said.

He said the WVA has a seat at the table with global organizations. The association has memorandums of understanding with groups such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization.

At the 2013 congress, the WVA signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Society for the Protection of Animals. The groups agreed to work together to promote education in animal welfare, awareness of welfare issues, and effective rabies control.

Dr. Vogel said the WVA is taking more ownership of its congresses, traditionally hosted by member organizations. The association also has moved from holding congresses every three years to every two years and might move to holding a congress or other conference every year.

The WVA Presidents Assembly, meeting at the 2013 congress, approved changes to simplify and modernize governance of the association. Dr. René A. Carlson, volunteer AVMA director of international affairs, led the committee that developed the final proposal.

Two key changes provide for a new officer structure and for equal geographic representation on the WVA Council, Dr. Carlson said. The officers will be a president-elect, president, and immediate past president rather than a president, immediate past president, and two vice presidents. The WVA Council will consist of the officers plus two representatives each from six regions and two from international veterinary organizations. Europe had more representatives than other regions.

Dr. Carlson recently announced that she will be a candidate for president of the WVA. Among her goals is to expand the membership so the association is truly the global voice of veterinary medicine.

“WVA, I really think, has great potential that just hasn't been realized,” Dr. Carlson said. “We have to help each other to build all of us up—whether it's animal welfare, education, or food safety. We have to all work together.”


The WVA Presidents Assembly celebrated the 150th anniversary of the association during the 31st WVC.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

The scientific program at the 2013 congress covered a spectrum of species and other subjects.

The two-day Global Veterinary Seminar on Animal Welfare concluded that veterinarians should be shepherds in the field of animal welfare but with close collaboration with others. Among the speakers was Dr. Gail C. Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division.

The second WVA summit was on “Global Well-being—a Partnership of Animal and Human Health.” Topics included institutional collaboration, partnerships in disease control and emergency response, and cooperation in education and research. High-level support for the WVA summit came from the FAO, OIE, and WHO.

The Veterinary Professional Wellness Summit focused on mental health of veterinarians and veterinary students (see JAVMA, Nov. 15, 2013, page 1368). The International Veterinary Officers Coalition sponsored the wellness summit, and Dr. Carlson served as the moderator.

Also at the 2013 congress, the WVA presented three veterinarians with the John Gamgee Award for outstanding contributions to veterinary science and the veterinary profession. The awardees are Dr. James H. Steele of the United States, the father of veterinary public health; Dr. Milton Thiago de Mello of Brazil, an educator and a pioneer in microbiology and primatology, and Dr. Bernard Vallat of France, director general of the OIE.

Mississippi State creates host-pathogen interaction center

Mississippi State University has been awarded a $10 million grant for five years of support from the National Institutes of Health to further research focusing on diseases that affect animal and human health, according to an Oct. 3 MSU press release.

The main focus of MSU's new Center for Biomedical Research Excellence in Pathogen and Host Interaction is related to infectious diseases. Researchers will be looking at how hosts react to Staphylococcus infections, how long Listeria organisms can live in bile, and how various flu viruses attack hosts, for example.

The NIH's Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence provides competitive grants in support of multi-disciplinary centers that strengthen institutional biomedical research capacity.

The research will be conducted among three centers at MSU: the College of Veterinary Medicine; the Institute of Genomics, Biocomputing, and Biotechnology; and the Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies. The college will administer the grant and research activities.

“It is an extremely competitive process. Most of the applicants are human medical colleges,” said Stephen B. Pruett, PhD, head of basic sciences at the veterinary college and principal investigator on the COBRE grant.

The grant establishes a unique mentoring program for a core group of researchers.

The MSU researchers in this group are Bindu Nanduri, PhD, and Dr. Keun Seok Seo, both assistant professors in basic sciences at the veterinary college, and Dr. Henry Wan, an associate professor in systems biology at the veterinary college.

“Dr. Seo is leading the way in Staphylococcus aureus research. What he's studying is leading to vaccines that could protect cattle and humans from dangerous Staph infections,” Dr. Pruett said.


Dr. Keun Seok Seo examines cultures of Staphylococcus organisms in his laboratory at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photo by Tom Thompson/MSU)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Janet Donaldson, PhD, associate professor with the university's department of biological sciences, conducts research on the ability of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli to be resistant to antimicrobials and to colonize the gastrointestinal tract.

The researchers also will work collaboratively to design infectious disease research projects to secure further NIH funding.

“Mississippi State has a tremendous amount of expertise in infectious disease,” said Greg Bohach, vice president for MSU's Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine.

“We are honored to have NIH recognize this and provide the funding and the trust to take our research to the next level. The talent and focus is here, and we will continue to provide research that protects the safety of animals, humans, and the food supply.”

Oklahoma State participates in trap-neuter-release program

(Courtesy of Oklahoma State Universtiy CVHS)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Veterinary students and faculty at Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences began partnering this year with a local nonprofit, Operation Catnip. Together, they provide high-volume, no-cost spay/neuter and vaccination services to the free-roaming community cats of Stillwater through a trap-neuter-release system.

The project began with the help of Dr. Lesa Staubus, clinical assistant professor in shelter medicine and surgery at OSU CVHS, who serves as president of Operation Catnip's board of directors. Dr. Staubus secured the initial grant money, and the first surgery was performed this past May.

Cats are humanely trapped by members of the community and brought to OSU's Veterinary Medical Hospital, which donates the use of its surgical suites. Here, veterinary faculty, staff, and students, along with other community members, volunteer their time to perform the surgeries.

As of press time in late October, two more clinics had been held, and a total of 273 cats have now been spayed or castrated. The next Operation Catnip clinic will be held Jan. 12, 2014. For more information, visit www.operationcatnipstillwater.org.


Institute of Medicine

University of California-Davis professor Dr. Jonna Ann Mazet has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Dr. Mazet was one of 70 new members announced at the IOM annual meeting this past October. Membership is given for demonstrating outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Mazet is a professor of epidemiology and disease ecology and director of the Wildlife Health Center and One Health Institute at UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also global director of PREDICT, part of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Emerging Pandemic Threats Program, which is working to develop and support a global early warning system.

Additionally, Dr. Mazet founded California's Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC-Davis as well as the Health for

Purdue University

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine recently honored the recipients of its 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Dr. Michael P. Andrews (PUR ′83) of Riverside, Calif., owns Woodcrest Veterinary Clinic. He has served in leadership positions in several veterinary organizations, including president of the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Andrews is an avid mountain climber and has ascended some of the world's tallest peaks.

Dr. Craig L. Wardrip (PUR'78) of Palos Heights, $$Ill., co-owns the Crestwood Animal Clinic with his wife and classmate, Sue. He is board-certified by the American College of Laboratory Animals and Livelihood Improvement project, which aims to reduce infectious disease transmission in the Ruaha ecosystem of Tanzania.


Dr. Jonna Ann Mazet (Gregory Urquiaga/UC-Davis)(

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

As a professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Mazet mentors veterinary and graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, and provides service to government agencies and the public regarding emerging infectious disease and conservation challenges.

“I feel like I'm being honored for a body of work that is only possible because I've been lucky to work with an amazing team,” Dr. Mazet said of her election to the Institute of Medicine. “We can only begin to solve global problems by working effectively together across disciplinary, geographic, and political boundaries.”


Dr. Michael P. Andrews

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490


Dr. Craig L. Wardrip

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 11; 10.2460/javma.243.11.1490

Animal Medicine and is associate professor of clinical surgery and chief of large animal clinical services at the University of Chicago. The couple has endowed a scholarship for veterinary students who face financial challenges similar to theirs as the veterinary college's first married couple to enter as classmates.


The article “Web series created for recent grads” in the Oct. 15, 2013, issue of JAVMA News should have reported Dr. Mary Gardner's year of graduation as 2008 and the University of Florida as the institution where she received her DVM degree.

Obituaries: AVMA member: AVMA honor roll member: Nonmember

Charles A. Banker

Dr. Banker (TEX ′49), 87, Chappell Hill, Texas, died Aug. 31, 2013. He practiced mixed animal medicine at Fort Bend Veterinary Clinic in Rosenberg, Texas, for 27 years. Dr. Banker was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association and Texas VMA.

He is survived by his wife, Jean; a son; and two daughters. Memorials may be made to Animal Friends of Washington County, 3901 Highway 36 N., Brenham, TX 77833; First United Methodist Church, 408 N. Baylor St., Brenham, TX 77833; or Hospice Brazos Valley, 302 E. Blue Bell Road, Brenham, TX 77833.

John H. Barton

Dr. Barton (OKL ′59), 79, Waxhaw, N.C., died Aug. 14, 2013. He owned Archdale Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Charlotte, N.C., prior to retirement in 1994. Dr. Barton also helped establish the first emergency veterinary clinic in Charlotte. Earlier in his career, he served in the Army Veterinary Corps; worked in a mixed animal practice in Charlotte; and co-founded Barton-Francis Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Charlotte.

His wife, Freda; three children; and seven grandchildren survive him. Dr. Barton's son-in-law, Dr. Barry T. George (NCU ′90), owns Archdale Animal Hospital. His grandson, Matthew T. George, is a third-year veterinary student at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Memorials may be made to Levine and Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, 1420 E. 7th. St., Charlotte, NC 20204.

Dorothy E. Bradley-Smallridge

Dr. Bradley-Smallridge (COR ′43), 91, Irondequoit, N.Y., died July 7, 2013. She owned a small animal practice in Irondequoit until the mid-1970s. Dr. Bradley-Smallridge is survived by three children and five grandchildren. Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society, 1120 S. Goodman St., Rochester, NY 14620; or Alzheimer's Association, 435 E. Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14620.

Cynthia L. Brough

Dr. Brough (ISU ′88), 58, Carlisle, Pa., died Aug. 7, 2013. A mixed animal veterinarian, she was a partner at Kindred Spirit Veterinary Hospital in Carlisle since 1997. Earlier in her career, Dr. Brough practiced in central Pennsylvania and taught veterinary technology classes at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa.

Andrew A. Catey

Dr. Catey (MSU ′84), 58, Angola, Ind., died July 6, 2013. A small animal veterinarian, he practiced at All Paws and Claws Veterinary Clinic in Angola. Dr. Catey was a veteran of the Army. He is survived by his wife, Dee; a daughter; and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Steuben County Humane Society, P.O. Box 204, Angola, IN 46703; Presbyterian Chapel of the Lakes, 2955 W. Orland Road, Angola, IN 46703; or American Heart Association, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674.

Donna M. Eubanks

Dr. Eubanks (COL ′98), 58, West Jordan, Utah, died April 2, 2013. She is survived by two sons.

Joe T. Fergus

Dr. Fergus (OSU ′63), 74, Lewisburg, Ohio, died Aug. 6, 2013. A small animal veterinarian, he co-owned Gettysburg Animal Clinic in Gettysburg, Ohio; Clayton Animal Hospital in Clayton, Ohio; and North Main Animal Clinic in Dayton, Ohio, prior to retirement in 2005. In retirement, Dr. Fergus was a relief veterinarian and volunteered at the local humane society. Early in his career, he served in the Army Veterinary Corps. Dr. Fergus was a member of the Ohio VMA. His wife, Judith; a son and a daughter; and four granddaughters survive him.

Robert Harben

Dr. Harben (TEX ′64), 79, Amarillo, Texas, died April 6, 2013. He owned River Road Veterinary Clinic in Amarillo prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Harben owned a practice in Dumas, Texas; worked in Albuquerque, N.M.; and was a racetrack veterinarian in Ruidoso, N.M. He was a veteran of the Army. Dr. Harben is survived by his wife, Frances; a son and a daughter; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Elroy C. Jensen

Dr. Jensen (MSU ′51), 90, Gilbert, Iowa, died Aug. 4, 2013. He owned Jensen's Small Animal Clinic in Ames, Iowa, from 1967 until retirement in 1989. Earlier in his career, Dr. Jensen taught at Iowa State University for 16 years. He served in the Army during World War II and was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Jensen is survived by a daughter, two sons, and seven grandchildren.

Floyd M. Jones

Dr. Jones (TEX ′59), 84, Bryan, Texas, died Aug. 13, 2013. He began his career practicing mixed animal medicine in Texas' Burleson and Brazos counties for 10 years. Then, on a Rockefeller Foundation grant, Dr. Jones traveled to Colombia, where he studied and conducted research. After obtaining his master's degree in tropical animal diseases from Texas A&M University in 1972, he joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During his career with the USDA, Dr. Jones worked in meat inspection, served as a field epidemiologist, was a supervisory veterinary medical officer, and served as a veterinary attaché in Central and South America. He retired from government service in 1989.

Dr. Jones served as the Latin American representative for the Christian Veterinary Mission and was a trustee for the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History. A veteran of the Army, he served as a captain in the Army Reserves and was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Jones is survived by a daughter, a son, and two grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, TX 77802; Christian Veterinary Museum, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133; Central Baptist Church, 1991 FM 158 Road, College Station, TX 77845; or American Red Cross, PO Box 4002018, Des Moines, IA 50340.

Douglas S. Kramer

Dr. Kramer (GLA ′07), 36, Granada Hills, Calif., died Aug. 22, 2013. A graduate of the University of Glasgow, he owned a mobile practice in the Los Angeles area, focusing exclusively on pain management and palliative and hospice care. Dr. Kramer was also the founder of Vet Guru Inc. in Chatsworth, Calif., a company that developed pet products based on herbal and holistic formulations.

Early in his career, he practiced small animal medicine in California. Dr. Kramer was active in the efforts to advocate for marijuana's potential as a therapeutic drug in veterinary medicine. He was a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, California VMA, and Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association. Memorials may be made to Fighting Cancer Foundation, 8424 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite A297, West Hollywood, CA 90069.

Donald W. Liechty

Dr. Liechty (PUR ′74), 62, Wood Dale, $$Ill., died Aug. 4, 2013. An equine practitioner, he owned Liechty Veterinary LLC and took care of the horses at Arlington International Racecourse. During his career, Dr. Liechty also practiced in North Carolina and Bennington, Vt. He served on the board of directors of Galloping Out Thoroughbred Rescue Fund. Dr. Liechty's daughter, son, and two granddaughters survive him.

Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312; American Heart Association, 208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60604; Galloping Out Thoroughbred Rescue Fund, 7301 W. 25th St., Suite 321, North Riverside, IL 60546; or World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th St. N.W., P.O. Box 97180, Washington, DC 20090.

Roderick G. MacKintosh

Dr. MacKintosh (WSU ′43), 93, Yakima, Wash., died Aug. 17, 2013. He owned MacKintosh Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Yakima, until 1980. Thereafter, Dr. MacKintosh established a spay/neuter clinic in Richland, Wash., where he practiced until retirement in 1987. He was a member of the Washington State VMA and a past president of the Yakima Rotary Club. Dr. MacKintosh is survived by his wife, Frances; a daughter and a son; four granddaughters; and four great-grandchildren.

Thomas W. Matthews

Dr. Matthews (TEX ′51), 90, Luling, Texas, died July 15, 2013. He practiced in Luling for several years. Dr. Matthews was a veteran of the Army Air Corps and a member of the American Legion. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, six Air Medals, and a Purple Heart for his military service.

Active in civic life, Dr. Matthews was a member of the Luling Kiwanis Club and South East Caldwell County Volunteer Fire Department. His three daughters, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren survive him.

John P. Miller

Dr. Miller (OSU ′61), 83, Shelbyville, Ky., died Aug. 25, 2013. He owned Miller's Animal Clinic in Charleston, W.Va., for 35 years prior to retirement. Dr. Miller's wife, Judith; a daughter and a son; three grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and a step–greatgrandchild survive him.

Robert A. Montgomery Jr.

Dr. Robert Montgomery (OSU ′75), 68, New Philadelphia, Ohio, died Aug. 28, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he was a partner at Town and Country Veterinary Clinic in New Philadelphia and Bolivar, Ohio. A past president of the Ohio VMA, Dr. Montgomery was Ohio's delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 1997–2006. In 2005, he served on the advisory board that helped establish the veterinary technology program at Kent State University at Tuscarawas in New Philadelphia.

Dr. Montgomery served as a captain in the Coast Guard in Vietnam from 1969–1970. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl; a daughter; a son; and two grandchildren.

Robert D. Moore

Dr. Moore (COL ′63), 74, Fountain, Colo., died July 28, 2013. In the 1970s, he established a racetrack veterinary practice, working in several states, including Minnesota, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Dr. Moore also raised and raced American Quarter Horses. Earlier in his career, he established a mixed animal practice in Las Animas, Colo., and Southmoor Veterinary Clinic in Fountain. He was a past president of the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association and a lifetime member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Dr. Moore was also a member of the Elks.

His wife, Lorene; two children; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren survive him. Dr. Moore's brother-in-law, Dr. Craton R. Burkholder (COL ′64), is a veterinarian in Aspen, Colo. Memorials (with the notation EOR/Moore Memorial) may be made to Colorado State University Foundation, P.O. Box 1870, Fort Collins, CO 80522.

Michael D. O'Cain

Dr. O'Cain (GA ′78), 61, Orangeburg, S.C., died May 17, 2013. Prior to retirement in 2000, he owned a small animal practice in Orangeburg.

Michael A. Place

Dr. Place (MSU ′63), 75, Frisco, Texas, died Aug. 30, 2013. From 1970 until retirement in 1998, he owned a small and exotic animal practice in Port Huron, Mich. Prior to that, Dr. Place practiced small animal medicine in the Detroit area. Early in his career, he served in the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of captain.

Dr. Place was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and Michigan and Southern Michigan VMAs. He volunteered with Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity and was a past vice president of Michigan Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Dr. Place is survived by his wife, Gloria; a daughter and a son; and five grandchildren. Memorials may be made to The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, www.humanesociety.org; or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123, https://donate.cancer.org/index.

Donald D. Reeser

Dr. Reeser (OSU ′49), 87, Kernersville, N.C., died Sept. 29, 2013. A small animal veterinarian, he practiced for almost 35 years in Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh, Allison Park, and Bakerstown.

Dr. Reeser was a past chairman of the Pennsylvania VMA Continuing Education Committee and served four years on the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine. In 1973, he was named Pennsylvania Veterinarian of the Year.

Dr. Reeser's wife, Nancy; two daughters and a son; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative CareCenter, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston Salem, NC 27103.

William E. Ryan III

Dr. Ryan (OKL ′51), 86, Fort Dodge, Iowa, died Aug. 12, 2013. He began his career practicing in Midland, Texas, and in Oklahoma at Boise City and Duncan. Dr. Ryan then worked for the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service as a technical supervisor. In 1961, he joined Fort Dodge Laboratories as a sales promotion manager, eventually becoming director of advertising and communications. After Dr. Ryan retired from Fort Dodge Laboratories in 1995, he worked for Dodgen Industries in Humboldt, Iowa, for five years.

A co-founder and a past president of the American Veterinary Medical History Society, he was also a past president of the American Veterinary Exhibitors Association and a former member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners' Public Relations Committee. Dr. Ryan co-founded and served as first president of the Iowa Paint Horse Association and served on the board of directors of the American Paint Horse Association. A member of the Iowa VMA, he was a past recipient of its Meritorious Service and Veterinarian of the Year awards.

Active in civic life, Dr. Ryan served on the board of directors of the Tri-County Tourism Commission and the Greater Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Lions and Rotary clubs. In 1977, he was given a leadership award by Iowa governor Robert D. Ray for his efforts toward Fort Dodge's community development program. An Army veteran, Dr. Ryan is survived by his wife, Joyce; two sons and two daughters; 12 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

Robert K. Shideler

Dr. Shideler (COL ′48), 89, Batesville, Miss., died Sept. 4, 2013. He began his career as a large animal practitioner in Danville, $$Ill. In 1960, Dr. Shideler moved to Sardis, Miss., where he established a mixed animal practice. He joined the veterinary faculty of Colorado State University in 1974, working in equine reproduction. Dr. Shideler retired from the university at the age of 75.

A diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, he was a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Mississippi VMA and a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Bovine Practitioners. In 1972, he was named Mississippi Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Shideler was a director of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo and chaired its Scholarship Trust. He was also a past president of the Roundup Riders of the Rockies. Dr. Shideler served in the Navy during World War II.

His two sons and three daughters; 15 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren survive him. One son, Dr. Steven K. Shideler (AUB ′75), is a mixed animal practitioner in Sardis, Miss. Memorials may be made to the Robert K. Shideler Endowed Scholarship Fund in Equine Sciences, Colorado State University, 410 University Services Center, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

A. Louis Shor

Dr. Shor (COR ′53), 89, Voorhees, N.J., died Aug. 7, 2013. He worked for what is now known as GlaxoSmithKline from 1980 until retirement in 1990, first as manager of clinical development, and, later, as manager of regulatory affairs and manufacturing quality assurance. He began his career practicing mostly large animal medicine in New York City, then worked for Lederle Laboratories in Missouri, Colorado, and New York.

In the late 1950s, Dr. Shor joined American Cynamid Company's agricultural division in Princeton, N.J. At American Cynamid, he served as manager of the clinical development laboratory, then as manager of the poultry program and veterinary research projects. In retirement, Dr. Shor was a veterinary consultant.

A past president of what is now the American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians, he was a member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists and represented the AAAP on the former AVMA Drug Availability Advisory Committee for several terms. Dr. Shor was a member of the American Society of Animal Science, Poultry Science Association, and Dairy Science Association. In 1988, he was named Industrial Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Shor served in the Army during World War II.

John M. Stark

Stark (MIS ′15), 27, Starkville, Miss., died April 20, 2013. He was a member of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine student chapter of the AVMA. Memorials may be made to the Jackson County Humane Society, P.O. Box 154, Newport, AR 72112.

Franklin K. Wills

Dr. Wills (UP ′50), 87, Canmer, Ky., died April 14, 2013. A poultry pathologist, he was manager of international technical services at Sterwin Laboratories in Millsboro, Del., prior to retirement in 1990. Dr. Wills began as an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, where he also earned his doctorate in veterinary pathology. He then served as an assistant to the director of the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Laboratory in Salisbury, conducting poultry disease research and developing vaccines for emerging diseases.

Dr. Wills went on to head the Veterinary Science Department at the University of Maryland before joining Sterwin Laboratories as associate director. He was a member of the Northeastern Conference on Avian Diseases and American Association of Avian Pathologists.

Dr. Wills is survived by his wife, Carol; a son and two daughters; two stepdaughters; eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. Memorials may be made to the Memorial Fund of Rockawalkin United Methodist Church, 6777 Rockawalkin Road, Hebron, MD 21830.

  • View in gallery

    Torrance Hornsby, a prisoner at Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson, La., holds a dog for a skin scraping by Louisiana State University veterinary student Robert Vennen (left). Fellow students David Cradic and Lauren Dubuc stand by.

  • View in gallery

    Torrance Hornsby holds Brittney ahead of the dog's examination.

  • View in gallery

    Jason Broom, a prisoner at Dixon, holds Lady Red amid the cages in the Pen Pals shelter's open-air pavilion.

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Wendy Wolfson talks about the medical history of a dog held by prisoner Jason Broom and examined by LSU veterinary students.

  • View in gallery

    LSU veterinary student Alexis Solis (right) and Dr. Brandy Duhon, a fellow in the LSU shelter medicine program, listen for wheezing in Lady Red.

  • View in gallery

    LSU veterinary student Lauren Dubuc examines a cat.

  • View in gallery

    (Photos courtesy of Dr. Fred Born)

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver and Murphy

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver testifies before a congressional committee about the welfare consequences of a federal ban on horse slaughter.

  • View in gallery

    Chicken jerky treat

  • View in gallery

    Former Virginia Gov. Westmoreland Davis with his turkeys at Morven Park, the newest home for pardoned turkeys (Courtesy of the National Turkey Federation)

  • View in gallery

    One of John Burkel's daughters with a poult from this year's flock of potential National Thanksgiving Turkeys (Courtesy of the National Turkey Federation)

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Bob Evans with Cobbler and Gobbler the day before the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation (Courtesy of Dr. Bob Evans)

  • View in gallery

    The first international congress of veterinarians in 1863 led to the modern World Veterinary Congress and World Veterinary Association. (Photos courtesy of the WVA)

  • View in gallery

    The WVA Presidents Assembly celebrated the 150th anniversary of the association during the 31st WVC.

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Keun Seok Seo examines cultures of Staphylococcus organisms in his laboratory at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photo by Tom Thompson/MSU)

  • View in gallery

    (Courtesy of Oklahoma State Universtiy CVHS)

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Jonna Ann Mazet (Gregory Urquiaga/UC-Davis)(

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Michael P. Andrews

  • View in gallery

    Dr. Craig L. Wardrip