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One for the history books

A visual history of the AVMA's first 150 years

Malinda Larkin

When the AVMA (then known as the United States Veterinary Medical Association) was founded in 1863, its founders likely could not have predicted that their organization would come to have a majority of women and small animal practitioners, that members would account for more than 80 percent of the profession, and that, today, veterinarians would employ sophisticated technologies and expertise in specialized areas of practice as well as serve in diverse roles outside the private practice setting. Snapshots in graph form on the following pages show that progression of the AVMA and the profession.

Join the club

Founding members of the USVMA agreed to admit, after an oral examination, any veterinary practitioner or student of three years' standing in the profession who had documents and testimonials related to his qualifications, according to the book “The AVMA: 150 years of education, science, and service.” By contrast, admission in 1913 required graduation from a three-year, accredited school and references from two active members.

The USVMA had about 40 members at its founding, and had a net gain of only one member during its first 10 years.

Then, in 1875, the USVMA admitted 11 new members, or the equivalent of 25 percent of the existing membership.

In 1900, two years after becoming the AVMA, the Association had 385 members. By 1913, that number had grown to 1,650, and by 1937, membership totaled 4,600.

AVMA members represented a clear majority of the profession for the first time in 1941, when membership reached nearly 6,650.

AVMA membership


Source: AVMA membership database

Gender studies

According to JAVMA archives, in 1915, four women veterinarians were practicing in the U.S. By 1968, that number had increased to only a little more than 300; approximately 60 percent were involved in private small animal practice.

About 330 women were enrolled in veterinary colleges in the United States at the time, and the AVMA was receiving about 500 letters monthly from grade school and high school girls who wanted more information about the profession.

“There is indeed a place for women in veterinary medicine,” Dr. Jean R. Hagan, then-president of the Women's VMA, said at the time. “They are found in all fields of the profession.”

Women began outnumbering men in veterinary schools during the 1985–1986 academic year, and they accounted for more than half of AVMA members starting in 2011.


(Source: AVMA membership database)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

What's your type?

Over time, the AVMA has gone through changes not only in the number of members but also in the kinds of veterinary medicine they practice. For example, horses accounted for 80 percent of work among 8,000 veterinarians in 1900 compared with 10 percent of work among 14,000 in 1920, after the invention of the automobile, which reduced people's reliance on animals for transport.

Another sea change occurred with the shift toward veterinarians treating more pets than farm animals.

In 1954, about 10 percent of veterinarians in the AVMA Directory & Resource Manual were listed as small animal practitioners. By 2011, about 44,000 of the AVMA's 83,000 members worked exclusively in companion animal medicine. About 6,700 members also indicated they worked predominantly in companion animal practice, but the figures may overlap, because the AVMA analysis allowed veterinarians to select multiple practice categories.

Furthermore, new fields have opened up over the course of time, including public health, corporate practice, shelter medicine, and wildlife medicine, to name a few.


1931 Practitioners' time at work (Source: AVMA Committee on Education survey)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164


1990 Types of veterinary employment (Source: AVMA membership database)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164


Historical totals of U.S. veterinary colleges (Sources: J Am Vet Med Assoc 1981;178:583–593; AVMA Membership Directory & Resource Manual)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164


1960 Types of veterinary employment (Source: J Am Vet Med Assoc 1961;138:61–63)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

1936: The first year all 48 then-existing states had formed state associations and were represented in what was then the AVMA House of Representatives.

Private gives way to public

Between 1852 and 1879, veterinary colleges were all private institutions. Land-grant agricultural colleges and universities then appeared, and the number of public veterinary colleges continued to increase after the last of the private, proprietary veterinary colleges closed in 1927. Since then, only a few private veterinary colleges have been created. The greatest number of private veterinary colleges active in any given year was 11, in the years 1913–1916. Today, there are only two AVMA Council on Education-accredited ones among the 28 U.S. institutions: Tufts University and Western University of Health Sciences.

Something for the effort

Information on early practitioners' salaries is hard to come by. Mention was made in 1987 by Dr. W.W. Armistead, 1957–1958 AVMA president, who wrote: “Pessimism again afflicted the profession during the economic depression of the 1930s. Practitioner incomes dropped precipitously. Many farm animals were not worth the price of professional treatment. Struggling small animal practitioners resorted to boarding, grooming, and dog food sales to make ends meet. Salaried positions paying less than $2,000/yr were sought eagerly by new graduates” (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1987;190:1394–1396).

The first data on veterinary salaries collected by the AVMA appear to be a pair of surveys from 1952 and 1956, which indicated veterinarians' mean net yearly income rose 45 percent from a mean of $7,374 in 1950 to $10,694 in 1955. While 68 percent of veterinarians surveyed in 1952 had income from outside veterinary practice, only 26 percent did in 1956. The 1956 survey also indicates 78 percent of veterinarians had solo practices. About 70 percent worked 60 hours weekly, and about 40 percent worked at least 70 hours weekly (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1957;131:156–157, 199–201).

In the early 1980s, the AVMA began surveying graduating fourth-year veterinary students to learn more about starting salaries, career choices, and, later on, educational debt loads.


(Source: J Am Vet Med Assoc 1983;182:1128, J Am Vet Med Assoc 1992;201:1685–1686, J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:312–314, J Am Vet Med Assoc 2012;241:890–894)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Face of the profession


First African-American graduates


AVMA admits its first two black members


First Iverson Bell Symposium on diversity


Percentage of veterinary students from historically underrepresented demographic groups in 1972


Percentage of veterinary students from historically underrepresented demographic groups in 2013

The increasing number of veterinary specialists

1967 -389
1971 -889
1975 -1,377
1979 -1,772
1983 -2,379
1987 -3,205
1991 -4,112
1995 -5,377
1999 -6,503
2003 -7,547
2007 -8,885
2011 -10,632
2012 -11,163

Source: American Board of Veterinary Specialties

Special skills

The AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties got its formal start in 1950 as the Advisory Board on Veterinary Specialties when the Executive Board received applications for recognition from the first two veterinary specialty organizations. These applications were from the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the American Board of Veterinary Public Health. The applications were referred to the AVMA Council on Education and the Association of Deans of American Veterinary Colleges for recommendations. In 1951, the AVMA House of Representatives approved criteria for recognition of veterinary specialty organizations. At the same meeting, the House of Representatives approved recognition of the pathology and public health specialties.

Formulations for 3 extemporaneous oral suspensions of enrofloxacin mixed with readily available flavoring vehicles that were stored in plastic amber-colored vials at room temperature (approx 22°C) for 56 days.

YearRecognized Veterinary Specialty Organization
1951American College of Veterinary Pathologists
1951American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
1957American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
1962American College of Veterinary Radiology
1966American College of Veterinary Microbiologists
1967American Board of Veterinary Toxicology
1967American College of Veterinary Surgeons
1971American College of Theriogenologists
1971American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
1972American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
1975American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists
1978American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
1982American College of Veterinary Dermatology
1983American College of Zoological Medicine
1988American College of Veterinary Nutrition
1988American Veterinary Dental College
1989American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
1990American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology
1991American College of Poultry Veterinarians
1993American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
2010American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
2012American College of Animal Welfare

Source: American Board of Veterinary Specialties

Historic hospitals

Veterinarians share stories of three practices


(Courtesy of Dr. Fred Pomeroy)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164


In the late 1800s, Dr. Benjamin A. Pomeroy started a practice in St. Paul, Minn., that would become Pomeroy's Animal Hospital. The old photo dates to about 1900. The large portion of the building collapsed in the mid-1950s, and that area is now a parking lot. The small portion of the building is part of the present-day hospital. Dr. Fred Pomeroy, grandson of the founder, owns the practice. (Photo by Dr. Desiree Laredo)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

By Katie Burns

Dr. Fred Pomeroy treats dogs and cats in the same spot in the heart of St. Paul, Minn., where his grandfather set up shop to treat horses in 1886.

Many other veterinary practices across the country have stood the test of time, even if they haven't stayed in the family. Coffee Memorial Animal Clinic, whose founder was an AVMA president, has been serving rural Kentucky since 1919. Merrick Animal Hospital, whose founder was kicked out of the AVMA, has been serving suburban Chicago since 1934.

The stories of these three practices encapsulate the ongoing evolution of veterinary medicine in the United States. As the AVMA celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, veterinarians who have worked at these practices took the opportunity to share their hospitals' histories.

Pomeroy's Animal Hospital

Dr. Benjamin A. Pomeroy graduated from Montreal Veterinary College in 1883, and he moved to St. Paul afterward to work with a colleague. In 1886, he opened his own office.

“In those days, a veterinarian was a horse doctor—literally,” Dr. Pomeroy told the Minneapolis Star in 1953. “Over 98 per cent of our work was with horses.”

Dr. Pomeroy's three sons followed him into veterinary medicine. Dr. Benjamin S. Pomeroy became a professor at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Harold Pomeroy stayed with the hospital, and Dr. James Pomeroy moved to Iowa to practice.

“We didn't know anything but animals,” Dr. Harold Pomeroy told the Minneapolis Star.

The Pomeroy patriarch waxed nostalgic about the heyday of the horse, but his practice transitioned over the decades to treat mostly dogs. He worked until his death at age 94 in 1956, when Dr. Harold Pomeroy took over the hospital.

Dr. Harold Pomeroy still went on some farm calls in the 1950s before the hospital became exclusively a small animal practice. Sometimes he brought along his small son.

“I remember his favorite trick he used to play on me,” Dr. Fred Pomeroy said. “I was probably about 7 years old, 8 years old, and he put me in front of the cows as he did a rectal palpation. And my job was to sit there and tell him when his hand came out the mouth. And I was so intent and thought that was my best job ever. Many years later, I learned that the arm was not long enough.”


In 1919, Dr. William Coffee (right) opened a practice in LaCenter, Ky., that is now Coffee Memorial Animal Clinic. Here, Dr. Coffee works with Dr. Charlie Ogletree, then an intern, in 1950. Dr. Ogletree joined the practice the following year.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164


Closest to farthest—Drs. Coffee, Ogletree, and Karl Silgals pose for a photo in 1954 in their practice vehicles outside Coffee Animal Clinic. (Photos courtesy of Coffee Memorial Animal Clinic)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Dr. Fred Pomeroy earned his veterinary degree from the University of Minnesota in 1974, then went to work with his father. He took over the hospital after the death of his father in 1979.

The Pomeroys adapted the facility through the years, and Dr. Pomeroy continues to update the equipment. Among the artifacts at the practice are an old X-ray unit, scale, unidentifiable instruments, horse bones, and reference materials.

Dr. Pomeroy is the last of his family in the field of veterinary medicine. Nonfamily veterinarians who have worked at Pomeroy's Animal Hospital include the current associate, Dr. Desiree Laredo.

“My plan right now is to continue to work until hopefully I get in my 90s,” Dr. Pomeroy said. “I love coming to work every day. It's so exciting and so much fun. And I guess I look at it now as, when I lose the fun, then I may consider retirement. But I plan to be here if I can for at least another 25, 30 years.”

Coffee Memorial Animal Clinic

Dr. William Coffee, whose father was a Kentucky veterinarian, graduated from Indiana Veterinary College in Indianapolis in 1918. He spent six months in the Army, through the end of World War I. Then in 1919, he opened a large animal practice in the small town of LaCenter, Ky.

“I enjoyed what I was doing,” he told the Paducah Sun in 1983. Course I don't expect anybody to work like I did. I put in an average of 16 to 18 hours a day for the first 25 years of my practice.

“I'd make calls until 10 o'clock at night and come in and there'd be a note on my bed that said, ‘So and so has a sick horse.’ I'd get up, put my clothes back on and go take care of it.”

Dr. Coffee was active in veterinary organizations, too, including serving as 1950–1951 AVMA president.


Dr. Andy Merrick takes a radiograph with an X-ray unit in 1937. Dr. Merrick started a practice in 1934 in Brookfield, Ill., that continues to operate today. (Photos courtesy of Dr. John Merrick)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164


Dr. Merrick built the present-day Merrick Animal Hospital in Brookfield in 1937. Here, Dr. Walter Burke, an associate, poses with Dr. Merrick for a photo outside the hospital circa the late 1940s. The previous winter, an ice storm had damaged panels on the building.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Dr. Charlie Ogletree joined the clinic in 1951 after earning his veterinary degree from Auburn University. The patients then included small animals as well as cattle and horses. Eventually, the many small dairies in the area gave way to a few large dairies, and the clinic's patients transitioned to mostly small animals.

“One of our policies was to take the patient in and get rid of the client and go to work,” said Dr. Ogletree, who retired in the late 1980s and turns 95 this month. “So many people, they didn't like to have the horse's nose twisted or to have the dog given shots or ‘My dog won't take pills.’

The clinic started out in a stable, moved to another building in town, then moved to a building behind Dr. Coffee's house. The third building burned down as the clinic was relocating to a modern facility on the highway.

Dr. George Cunningham joined the clinic in 1968, after earning his veterinary degree from the University of Missouri, and is the primary owner today.

Like Dr. Ogletree, Dr. Cunningham experienced the transition from frequent farm calls to mostly small animal practice.

“Small animal, large animal, whatever, you get to talk to people and associate with them. And I like to talk,” Dr. Cunningham said with a chuckle. “I just like to see people. So I can do that in either segment. I've learned a lot about dogs, and I like dogs. And cats, for the most part, I like.”

Many other veterinarians have worked at Coffee Memorial Animal Clinic through the years. Among them is part owner Dr. Greg Rodgers, who joined the hospital in the late 1980s.

Merrick Animal Hospital

According to family folklore, four of the Merrick brothers considered becoming architects but instead became veterinarians, because the veterinary school at The Ohio State University was a shorter walk than the architecture school.

Dr. Andy Merrick, a 1924 graduate, later moved to the Chicago area. In 1934, he founded a small animal practice in a storefront in the suburb of Brookfield, Ill. By 1937, Dr. Merrick had built a 5,000-square-foot hospital in Brookfield.

“Vets were still considered ‘horse doctors’ by most of the general public, only for treating farm animals,” wrote Dr. John Merrick, one of Dr. Andy Merrick's children, in his book, “The Veterinarian's Son.” “Many treated pets' problems as a sideline and inconvenience. Colleagues of Dad scoffed at the money he wasted on what they called ‘Andy's Taj Mahal.’ Dad, as it turned out, was years ahead of his time.”

Through the years, Dr. Andy Merrick generally had one or two associates. Dr. John Merrick joined his father's practice in 1954 after earning his veterinary degree from the University of Illinois. Dr. Andy Merrick had no interest in a partner, however, so Dr. John Merrick soon bought a practice in Wisconsin.

Registry recognizes heritage practices

The American Veterinary Medical History Society maintains a registry to recognize heritage veterinary practices in the United States that have been in continuous operation since founding at least half a century ago.

Lesley Ann Gentry, chair of the registry committee, said the history society began the registry in 2008 to document the contributions of heritage practices to veterinary medicine. By early this year, the history society had registered 30 heritage practices from across the country, including a number of practices dating back more than a century.

“Our hope is that many more practices will sign up in the coming years,” Gentry said.

Gentry said the heritage practices have gone through many changes through the decades, including changes in facilities and technology. Many of the owners are second- or third-generation veterinarians.

The registry is free but requires practices to complete a simple application form. The history society asks for brief documentation supporting the history of the practice, such as newspaper clippings.

“We are very eager and happy to work with whomever we can to build upon the registry,” Gentry said. “History is something that we should all be sharing, and we should all be out to chip in our own little piece of history.”

The AVMA's 150th anniversary year is a great year for recognizing veterinary history, Gentry said. The history society is putting on a history symposium during the AVMA Annual Convention in late July, concluding with a session on two heritage practices.

In other business endeavors, Dr. Andy Merrick developed and sold over-the-counter veterinary products. The AVMA did not allow members to advertise at the time and revoked his membership for putting his name on a product. He had just been installed as president of the Chicago VMA.

Dr. Merrick retired in 1968 and sold the practice to Dr. Ted Fitch. Dr. Fitch sold the practice to Dr. Jeff Weiser in 1995, and Dr. Weiser sold the practice to Dr. James Hosek in 2008.

Dr. Hosek said his family's cats were patients at the hospital when he was a child. Dr. Fitch let the young man help out in the clinic and encouraged a career in veterinary medicine.

After earning his veterinary degree from the University of Illinois in 1988, Dr. Hosek became a relief practitioner and worked a weekend shift for Dr. Fitch. Dr. Hosek later started a house call practice, and Dr. Fitch offered his facilities for surgery and radiography. The relationship continued with Dr. Weiser. On Dr. Weiser's retirement, Dr. Hosek bought the hospital while keeping his house call practice.

The hospital now employs three full-time veterinarians plus Dr. Hosek as a part-time veterinarian. Dr. Hosek has been updating the equipment and plans to update the building, but he has no thoughts of changing the location or hometown feel.

“We've got clients that have been coming to Merrick Animal Hospital for 40 years, and we want them to have the same experience they've been having all that time,” Dr. Hosek said.

Sharing stories

Dr. John Merrick encourages everyone to talk with elders about the past. He has dozens of questions that he would love to be able to ask his parents and his veterinarian-uncles.

In 1990, Dr. Merrick first wrote about his past at the request of a grandson on a school assignment. The experience motivated him to write the stories of his life—resulting in his book, “The Veterinarian's Son,” in 2012. He wants to pass along how veterinary medicine and the rest of the world have changed and continue to change.

“Everybody has stories to tell,” Dr. Merrick said.

AVMA board accepts governance task force report

Next phase of Association governance reforms begins

The AVMA Executive Board has approved for publication the Task Force on Governance and Member Participation's report, containing recommendations the task force believes will make the Association more nimble and more open to member involvement.

The task force report, approved by the Executive Board June 7, is the result of more than a year of extensive internal and external research on issues facing the Association and similar professional organizations across the United States and took into consideration hundreds of comments made by AVMA members.

The board formed the task force as a result of a 2011 House of Delegates resolution. The panel was charged with reviewing and evaluating the AVMA's governance system and determining whether the current system is optimal to meet the future needs of the membership, the Association itself, and the veterinary profession.

Using the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission's report as the basis for the creation of an evolved organizational structure and governance process, the task force sought to design a governance model that would be more responsive to membership needs, provide better value on investment, serve members and the profession more efficiently and effectively, be nimble enough to meet future governance challenges, and provide volunteer opportunities that are rewarding.

In its report, the task force outlines a revamped governance structure for the AVMA that includes the following:

  • • A Board of Directors, which would act as the sole body with management responsibility, policy authority, and fiduciary duties, in conjunction with Illinois state law.

  • • Advisory Councils, which would support AVMA's core strategic areas, including Economics and Practice, Animal Welfare and Ethics, Education, Governmental and External Relations, Scientific Activities, and Membership and Governance.

  • • A Volunteer Resources Committee, which would be responsible for identifying and recruiting the best candidates for various volunteer leadership positions.

  • • A Veterinary Issues Forum, which would bring together key stakeholders, including state and allied veterinary associations, to solicit feedback and identify strategic issues through which the AVMA could strengthen and enhance the future of the veterinary profession.

“Reflecting on AVMA's rich 150-year history, I can't help but be amazed at the number of advances in global veterinary medicine, technology, communication, business operations, and human capital over this time,” AVMA President Douglas G. Aspros said. “It's the AVMA's ability to adapt to those changes that has allowed us to remain one of the world's leading veterinary associations.

“Now, we face another pivotal fork in the road where we must decide whether to embrace a new governance structure, one that can evolve with society and the changing face and needs of our members. I applaud the task force for developing a deep understanding of the challenges facing professional associations today and thank them for their dedication in proposing a model that will ensure AVMA can continue leading in the future.”

Ralph Johnson, chair of the AVMA task force, said, “The task force's proposed governance model builds on the foundation laid by previous leaders and visionaries who established and grew the AVMA into the prestigious organization it is today, by providing a means to help AVMA operate more efficiently and by building in opportunities for increased member engagement and growth that are more in tune with how our society functions today.

“I am confident that this new model will help AVMA to be more nimble and transparent as it moves forward.”

The board has formed a team of AVMA volunteer leaders and members to lead the next phase of the project, which includes discussing the report during the July 18–19 House of Delegates regular annual session in Chicago.

The Task Force on Governance and Member Participation report and appendices are posted on the AVMA website.

More veterinary technology programs recognized

The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities accredited 10 new veterinary technology programs during its April 26–28 meeting at AVMA headquarters. The new total of accredited programs is 218. Of the new programs, one is in Rhode Island and one in Hawaii—two states that have never had an AVMA-accredited program. Now only Alaska, Montana, and the District of Columbia do not have AVMA-accredited veterinary technology programs.

The newly accredited programs are as follows:

  • • Baton Rouge Community College, Baton Rouge, La.

  • • Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville.

  • • New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich, R.I.

  • • Pensacola State College, Pensacola, Fla.

  • • Pima Medical Institute-Denver, Aurora, Colo.

  • • Platt College-Ontario, Ontario, Calif.

  • • San Joaquin Valley College, Fresno, Calif.

  • • Southwest Georgia Technical College, Thomasville.

  • • Volunteer State Community College, Gallatin, Tenn.

  • • Windward Community College, Kaneohe, Hawaii.

In other CVTEA actions, eight programs requested and were granted terminal accreditation because of program closures. They are as follows:

  • • Brigham Young University, Rexburg, Idaho.

  • • Kaplan College, Phoenix.

  • • Sanford Brown College, Dearborn, Mich.

  • • Sanford Brown College, Fenton, Mo.

  • • Sanford Brown College, Grand Rapids, Mich.

  • • Sanford Brown College, Portland, Ore.

  • • Sanford Brown College, St. Peters, Mo.

  • • Sanford Brown College, Tysons Corner, Va.

And Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, Wis., had its accreditation withdrawn because of program closure.

Now, of 218 AVMA CVTEA-accredited programs, 21 offer a bachelor's, and eight offer distance education.

To view the complete list, go to www.avma.org, click on “Veterinary Education” under the “Professiona Development” tab, and select “Veterinary Technology Programs.”

During its meeting, the CVTEA also evaluated 30 site visit reports and reviewed numerous annual, biennial, interim, and terminal reports, in addition to other requests. The CVTEA has 28 site visits scheduled for the remainder of 2013.

House could consider acupuncture academy, pet relocation for adoption

The AVMA House of Delegates could consider an application for the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture to become a member and a proposed new policy on “Relocation of Pets for Adoption.”

The late proposals came from the AVMA Executive Board ahead of the regular annual session of the HOD, July 18–19 in Chicago.

The AAVA applied in December 2012 for HOD membership as a constituent allied organization. Among the criteria for consideration in this category are that the organization have a national scope of operation, represent a broad field of veterinary activity, not be a specialty organization, include among its voting members at least 1 percent of voting AVMA members, and have at least 90 percent of its voting members be voting AVMA members.

The AAVA appears to meet the latter two criteria. At the time of application, the AAVA had 903 voting members, of whom 843 were voting AVMA members. As of Jan. 1, the AVMA had 83,984 voting members.

The Animal Welfare Committee developed the proposed new policy on “Relocation of Pets for Adoption.” The proposed policy starts as follows: “When dogs and cats are moved from areas where homeless animals outnumber available adoptive homes to communities where there is a demand for adoptable pets, careful planning is necessary to ensure the animals' good welfare, animal and human safety, and avoid the spread of disease.” The proposed policy goes on to outline considerations for transport.

Proposals going to the HOD 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.”

Hidden wildlife

Ohio authorities getting a sense of captive wildlife population

By Greg Cima

Nobody knows how many tigers, chimpanzees, or alligators live in Ohio.

State authorities know of 360 privately owned wild animals: 134 primates, 124 wild cats, 46 bears, 32 alligators, 14 lemurs, seven wolves, two hyenas, and a monitor, all of which have been registered with the Ohio Department of Agriculture since September 2012. The wild cats, for example, include 48 tigers, 14 lions, and 15 cougars or mountain lions.

Tracy Coppola, campaigns officer for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, expects that big cats that are registered are a minority of such privately owned wild cats within the state, which had some of the nation's largest wildlife auction houses in recent years. In supporting federal legislation to restrict captive wild cat possession, her organization cites estimates that private owners in the U.S. are keeping thousands of big cats.

Before fall 2012, Ohio's state government did not restrict wildlife possession or require registration of wild animals. Pets owned by private citizens are not regulated under the federal Animal Welfare Act, under which the U.S. Department of Agriculture governs care and treatment of certain animals sold, used in research, transported for commercial purposes, or exhibited to the public.

In June 2012, Gov. John R. Kasich signed a law that requires registration of any wild animal deemed to be dangerous. Registration was due in November, and, starting Jan. 1, 2014, the law also will require that wildlife owners have permits from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, with exceptions for zoos and other facilities certified by approved nonprofit or governmental organizations.


This tiger had been owned by an individual in Ohio. (Courtesy of International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Jack Advent, executive director of the Ohio VMA, said in June that people in Ohio were starting to get a sense of how many wild animals live in captivity in their state. He said a relatively small number of animal owners registered since the law was passed.

“We certainly have a sense that there's quite a few more than that,” Advent said. “Again, some of this is anecdotal, but we do know that some owners have said they're not going to comply.”

Those seeking permits to keep their wild animals need to meet housing and veterinary care requirements, identify wildlife other than snakes with microchips, and buy liability insurance or surety bonds. The law will prohibit selling, transferring, shipping, or breeding affected species, with exceptions for inherited animals or those held for specific circumstances, such as species survival programs. It already prohibits selling such animals at auction.

Tim Harrison, director of Outreach for Animals, a nonprofit organization based in Dayton, Ohio, said most Ohio residents who own wildlife will be unable to keep their animals. By May, his organization had moved about 110 lions, tigers, and bears to accredited wildlife sanctuaries throughout the U.S.

“People are not getting their permits, and they're not being able to microchip their animals or find a veterinarian that will work with them,” he said.

Some also cannot find insurance to keep, say, lions in their backyards, Harrison said.

When the state began requiring microchips as part of the registration and permit process, many wildlife owners called the Ohio VMA to ask for help finding veterinarians willing to implant the devices, Advent said. The VMA scrambled but found veterinarians willing to perform the procedures as well as veterinarians who offered to help colleagues with advice on drugs and dosage needed for sedation.

Advent said he has gotten indications that most owners of wildlife were not using veterinary care, but what percentage of owners brought their animals to veterinarians was unknown.

“Certainly, most of the signs point to the fact that you didn't have regular veterinary care with a lot of them,” he said.

Advent thinks the new requirements provide a reasonable balance of considerations for public safety, owners' desire to keep their animals, and animal welfare.

Wild but contained

Harrison is a retired police officer, firefighter, and paramedic from Oakwood, which borders Dayton, and throughout his career, he was called to help when wild animals escaped in the area. He has written standards on police use of force in response to wildlife threats and helped write laws restricting wildlife possession in cities including Cleveland and Dayton.

In the latter, he helped capture or remove about 100 animals such as alligators or bears annually before the local law was passed and 10 the year after. He has been close to dangerous wildlife on three continents, and he thinks the most dangerous animals are those that know human limitations.

“The ones that people keep in their backyards are the ones that scare me the most, because they just don't have a fear of you, and they understand that you're not as strong as they are and not as fast as they are,” he said.

Harrison noted that he favors the law's microchip identification requirements, as no animal owner has claimed and asked him to return their escaped cougar once it was captured.

But he thinks the law should have let those who already owned wild animals keep them as long as they met standards for the animals' cages. Sanctuaries will not accept all animals, and some will reject those that have had their claws or canines removed.

“We're not going to find homes for all of these animals,” he said.

Law follows tragedy

Ohio's legislature and governor passed the state law in response to the deaths of about 50 tigers, leopards, bears, lions, and other animals in October 2011 in Zanesville, Ohio. Police reports indicate the owner of the animals opened and cut the cages housing his animals and killed himself, and police officers killed the escaped animals to protect the public.

Erica Pitchford Hawkins, communication director for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, said in May that some animal owners understand restrictions are needed, whereas a group of seven sued the state. The public has supported the requirements, she said.

The seven wildlife owners who were trying to prevent implementation of the law lost in a federal district court in Ohio but have appealed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court had not ruled on the case by early June.

The district court documents describe testimony from those owners, among them a woman who owns 36 affected animals—including tigers, bears, and chimpanzees—as part of an exotic animal education center. She testified that she would have to spend $116,000 to comply with the act, and $73,000 worth of animals would lose all economic value since they could not be sold or shipped. She also expressed concern that two elderly animals, a serval and a lion, could die if anesthetized to implant microchips.

Another of the owners has more than 1,000 captive reptiles and amphibians and said the law would stop him from breeding his animals and make him give existing animals about six times more space. An owner of bears, cougars, wolves, and a lynx said the law would kill his business of bringing his animals to fairs, festivals, and corporate events.

U.S. District Judge George C. Smith expressed sympathy but said the state law did not violate the owners' rights. Its consequences were the product of an adjustment of rights that the legislature deemed appropriate to protect the public, he wrote.

Federal response possible

On May 15, U.S. Reps. Howard McKeon and Loretta Sanchez, both of California, introduced H.R. 1998, the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, which would prohibit people from obtaining or breeding wild cats such as lions, tigers, leopards, or hybrids thereof. Current owners would need to register with the USDA.

In a joint statement, the representatives said an alarming number of wild cats are bred and sold as pets in the U.S., threatening public safety and resulting in animal mistreatment. They said state regulations are a confusing and dangerous patchwork, and the legislation would improve animal safety and reduce animal trafficking.

According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, six states have no restrictions on owning big cats.

In a February 2000 position statement, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service stated that only qualified, trained professionals should keep large wild and exotic cats. The agency's Animal Care program experts “have seen too many instances where wild and exotic cats kept by untrained people have not only harmed people but suffered themselves due to poor care.”

Owners try to find new homes for their animals in response to high costs of ownership or aggression, the APHIS document states, but most zoos will not take the cats, and few sanctuaries are available. Many cats are killed for their pelts and meat, according to APHIS.

Harrison said many wildlife owners he has encountered love their animals, even though the animals are suffering.

“A lot of these animals are dying horrible deaths in captivity,” he said. “It's very sad.”


A black racer snake shows clinical signs of snake fungal disease. (Courtesy of Dr. D.E. Green/USGS National Wildlife Health Center)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Rise in snake fungal disease draws researchers' attention

Wildlife officials are monitoring a fungal disease infecting certain wild snake populations in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.

Fungal infections were occasionally reported in free-ranging snakes prior to 2006. But the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center has recently seen a spike in the number of snakes with fungal dermatitis submitted to the center and other diagnostic laboratories.

Laboratory analyses show that the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola is consistently associated with snake fungal disease, but additional fungi are often isolated from affected snakes. To date, there is no definitive evidence that O ophiodiicola causes SFD.

The most consistent clinical signs of SFD include scabs or crusty scales, subcutaneous nodules, premature separation of the outermost layer of the skin from the underlying skin, white opaque cloudiness of the eyes not associated with molting, or localized thickening or crusting of the skin. Skin ulcers, swelling of the face, and nodules in the deeper tissues of the head have also been documented.

Clinical signs of SFD and disease severity may vary by snake species. Aside from the presence of fungi with disease-associated lesions, specific pathological criteria for the disease have not yet been established.

While death has been associated with some cases of SFD, population-level impacts of the disease are not yet widely known and are difficult to assess because of the cryptic and solitary nature of snakes and a general lack of long-term monitoring data.

In New Hampshire, clinical signs consistent with SFD were associated with a 50 percent decline in an imperiled population of timber rattlesnakes from 2006–2007. In areas where susceptible snake species live in small, isolated populations, the added threat of SFD may threaten viability of these populations. SFD has been observed in other regions without suspected or documented population declines.

The wildlife health center has confirmed fungal dermatitis in wild snakes in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. However, SFD is suspected to be more widespread in the United States than is currently documented.

Multiple snake species have developed SFD, including the northern water snake, rat snake, and timber rattlesnake.

Jeff Lorch, PhD, is a research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying SFD at the wildlife health center. “The top research priority right now, aside from determining what the causative agent is, is to answer that question of whether this is something that's going to be a problem for all snake populations,” Dr. Lorch said.

“We also want to determine what happens when snakes are infected with Ophidiomyces,” he said. “Do they all die, do some recover? Maybe the fungus isn't a widespread threat, but it could endanger small isolated populations of snakes by making their recovery more difficult.”

Several agencies, organizations, researchers, and other key stakeholders, including the National Wildlife Health Center, are working together to investigate this potentially emerging disease and to learn what impacts SFD is having on wild snake populations.

Read about SFD and other wildlife health issues at the NWHC website: www.nwhc.usgs.gov.

Equine parasite guidelines available

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has developed the first official set of guidelines for parasite control in horses.

The guidelines were written by a subcommittee of the AAEP Infectious Disease Committee that spent the last several years formulating the document.

The document is intended for use by veterinarians who encounter cases or outbreaks of a parasitic disease in horses. In these events, veterinarians are expected to recommend measures to promptly contain the disease, such as isolation and treatment of affected individuals, while preventing spread of the disease to unaffected animals. The purpose of these guidelines is to emphasize the importance of an effective first response by providing a clear, concise action plan encompassing identification of clinical signs through diagnosis of the disease.

The guideline authors write that the goal should never be to eradicate any parasite, as not only is this impossible, but also, it may cause parasite drug resistance. Instead, the goals should be to minimize the risk of parasitic disease, control parasite egg shedding, maintain effective drug control, and avoid further development of anthelmintic resistance as much as possible.

Guidelines are specified separately for adult horses and horses younger than 3 years. All treatment and other recommendations are made within the context of a preventive program in which fecal egg count surveillance is being performed.

The document also says the guidelines are only suggestions, and that each farm—with veterinary guidance—should develop its own program tailored to the specific needs of the farm and each animal.

The document is available at www.aaep.org under the “Guidelines” tab.

U.S. given improved BSE risk rating

The U.S. has a negligible risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy infection, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

OIE officials announced May 29 that the organization's delegates had approved that “negligible” risk rating for the U.S. and five other countries. The rating is more favorable to the U.S. than the previous assessment that the nation had a “controlled” risk. Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and Slovenia also received the “negligible” risk rating.

The delegates approved the changes during the general session of the OIE's World Assembly of Delegates, held May 26–31 in Paris.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an announcement that the change was an achievement many years in the making. Government and businesses had worked to protect public and animal health, he said, expressing hope that the improved rating would help the U.S. increase beef exports.

“This decision demonstrates OIE's belief that both our surveillance for, and safeguards against, BSE are strong,” he said.

Four BSE-infected cattle have been found in the U.S. from 2003–2012. The most recently discovered case was confirmed to be an atypical infection, a rare form of the disease likely unconnected with contaminated animal feed, the route through which the degenerative and fatal disease typically spreads.

USDA officials have indicated that the two next most recent of those infections also likely were connected with atypical BSE.

Modified cell line helps identify FMD

Department of Agriculture researchers have developed a line of cells that can be continuously grown in culture and modified to be more easily infected with foot-and-mouth disease virus, aiding in virus identification.

The cattle kidney cell line produced by the USDA Agricultural Research Service can be used to identify all seven FMD serotypes. The cell line is described in an article published in June in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology (J Clin Microbiol 2013;51:1714–1720), which is available at http://jcm.asm.org/.

Dr. Luis L. Rodriguez, the ARS research leader at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, New York, said the agency's research shows the cell line is as sensitive to FMD virus or more so than cells derived directly from animals, and that sensitivity has remained in more than 100 generations of the cells grown in culture.

“They were developed based on knowledge that we had in our research as to how foot-and-mouth disease infects cells and what kind of receptor it uses, and, based on that, we designed these cells to express these receptors and be more receptive in the presence of the virus,” Dr. Rodriguez said.

Currently, identifying FMD virus serotypes requires killing an animal prior to the test and extracting primary cells sensitive to the virus, he said. Examples include calf thyroid cells and lamb kidney cells. Although these cells can be grown in culture, they often lose sensitivity to the FMD virus after a few generations.

The new cell line also can be infected with viruses that cause clinical signs similar to those of FMD, such as vesicular stomatitis, Dr. Rodriguez said. But the ARS does not have information indicating whether the cells have increased sensitivity to any viruses other than FMD viruses.

The ARS has been letting other organizations use the cells for diagnostic or disease research purposes, provided those organizations agree not to use the cell line itself for commercial purposes, Dr. Rodriguez said. The cell line has been added to the American Type Culture Collection, and the agency is seeking a patent on the line.

The research that led to development of the cell line began with the discovery about 40 years ago of a precursor to the bovine kidney cell line and continued with more recent studies of the cell surface receptors.

“This is just an example of how long-term research and basic research can be applied to solve very specific problems in agriculture,” Dr. Rodriguez said.

Hazard communication plans require updating

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has updated its hazard communication requirements for all employers—including veterinary practice owners—and has set Dec. 1 as the first compliance deadline. By that date, employers must have trained their employees on the new label elements for hazardous substances and safety data sheets—previously called material safety data sheets—format of the revised Hazard Communication Standard.

Several products commonly used in veterinary medicine may pose risks to people if stored, used, or disposed of improperly. Plus, veterinary practices with employees are legally obligated to have safeguards in place to help protect their employees from workplace hazards. Employee training, immediate access to safety data sheets, a written hazard communication plan, and a list of hazardous substances in the workplace are a few of the key components required in every practice's hazard communication efforts.

To learn more about how recent changes impact veterinary practices and the phase-in compliance deadlines, visit the Workplace Hazard Communications Web page, a members-only resource available at www.avma.org/workplacehazards.

Advocacy group suing for drug resistance data

A nonprofit advocacy organization is suing the Food and Drug Administration in an attempt to get access to data on antimicrobial-resistant bacteria found in meat.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is accusing the agency of failing to respond to a request for any unpublished data or analysis connected with the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System reports on retail meat from 2002–2012 as well as for any assessments of, or speculation about, the volume of antimicrobials administered to food-producing animals each year. The defense council filed the complaint in late May with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The complaint indicates the NRDC is concerned about the volume of antimicrobials administered to livestock—particularly those administered to promote growth or prevent disease—and the presence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in meat from those animals.

The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Department of Agriculture work together on the resistance monitoring system, through which they collect data on antimicrobial susceptibility of bacteria cultured from humans, meat sold in retail stores, and livestock.

Tornado takes toll on horses

Oklahoma response reflects preparedness

By Susan C. Kahler


Three weeks after the Moore tornado, Dr. Michael Wiley, assisted by Thomas Keith, cleans a wound on foal Yancy in preparation for treatment. (Photos by Anne Wiley)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

The EF5 tornado that shattered Moore, Okla., on May 20 struck an area heavily populated with horses.

State veterinarian Dr. Rod Hall said, “The area where it hit was mainly horse farms. Around 60 horses were hauled out of that area and taken to veterinary clinics or facilities, but a number of horses were injured severely and had to be euthanized. Close to 160 horses didn't survive. We had a number of equine practitioners who were involved early.”

One of them was Dr. Michael Wiley. “The tornado was about 5 miles from us,” he said. “Unfortunately, it went through a big swath of my practice area.”

That day, he heard about the tornado on the radio while on a call east of the stricken area and started working his way toward Celestial Acres Training Center, where he knew 120 horses were in training.

“When I finally got in, nothing was left,” he said. “Quite a few horses were still standing; most were beyond help. I had six or seven bottles of euthanasia solution. A small animal veterinarian was walking by, and I got five or six more bottles from her.”

He sent her to attend to 40 other horses before heading back to his clinic, Equi-Center Veterinary Hospital in Norman, with an injured horse. Clients were calling, trying futilely to make their way to his clinic with trailers carrying their injured horses, so Dr. Wiley drove as close as possible to the disaster area and transported two loads back to his clinic. That night, he was assisted by several local veterinarians, some from racetracks. They included Drs. Joe Boecker, Clayton McCook, and Christy Pitts, along with some staff they and Dr. Joe Carter provided.

Dr. Hall said 50 or 60 cattle and a few goats and pigs were initially missing, but most of the cattle were located and returned to their owners.

Oklahoma VMA headquarters is on the opposite side of town from the tornado site. Executive Director Jana Black said the OVMA was working with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and when USDA personnel left May 29, the association served as a clearinghouse, finding and scheduling veterinarians to work the shelters.

Dr. Hall of the state agriculture department oversaw it all, including the triage area.

“We don't know exact (casualty) numbers, and we never will,” he said. “Between the facilities that were housing animals, we helped set up a triage area very close to the worst area of the storm and ran close to 300 animals through that area over about an eight- or nine-day period.

“Around 30 of those animals were injured seriously enough that they were taken to one of four local veterinary hospitals that offered to take care of them. Around 250 were taken to shelters, where veterinarians were doing triage. Then, there were a fairly good number whose owners dropped them off, we provided medical care, and they went home. Altogether, about 500 animals were seen by veterinarians.”

Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences treated victims at no charge to their owners.

Black said, “Nothing was left standing in some neighborhoods. If a dog was outside, it had the opportunity to possibly escape the tornado. If it was inside, it was sometimes in rubble; some were injured, some deceased.”

An adoption event was planned for late June for pets displaced by the tornado.

“Eight veterinary clinics were in the tornado area,” Black said. “It's miraculous only one got damaged. The rest were out of electricity or water for a while. Some hooked up generators so they could take in animals—the majority were dogs—if their clients could get them in.”

The damaged facility was Dr. Kristi Scroggins' predominantly small animal practice, Scroggins Animal Hospital. The Moore tornado passed about a block north, pelting the hospital with debris and leaving it without power all week.

Eleven days later, on May 31, storms blew through, tearing off the hospital's roof.

“It was probably straight-line wind that took our roof off and flooded the building,” Dr. Scroggins said. There was an inch of water throughout the hospital, but no animals were injured, no equipment was damaged, and roofers arrived the next day to prevent more water damage and enable them to reopen.

Dr. Hall said the state was not asked to provide additional resources following the second tornado.

“A few displaced animals were taken care of through local animal shelters. One of our largest livestock auction markets took a severe hit and had several head of cattle killed. Luckily, most of the area impacted was more rural so the damage was minimal to livestock,” he said.

The state's level of preparedness meant plenty of volunteers and state and federal personnel to respond in Moore. Dr. Hall attributed his colleague, Dr. Debbie Cunningham, with working hard over the past few years encouraging people to sign up for the Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps and their county animal response teams. The oldest of those teams was called in early by the county animal control coordinator, who brought in several veterinarians.

“Early on, we also called in an incident management team from the USDA, because our state ag department staff is small and some staff are in the field. They came in and helped us organize and get control of the situation. They were a great resource,” Dr. Hall said.

The AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams were on standby, ready to assist if requested by the state, but Dr. Hall said they didn't request VMAT assistance because it was not needed. Dr. Cheryl Eia, AVMA emergency preparedness and response coordinator, said the state and local response organizations indeed did a tremendous job.


The day after the tornado, Dr. Wiley attends to an horse, assisted at right by veterinary technology student Sadie Millsap.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Suppliers and people from all over the U.S. have reached out and sent pet and horse supplies and monetary donations. The Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation is accepting disaster relief donations at www.okvma.org, as are the American Veterinary Medical Foundation at www.avma.org/oklahoma and the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation at www.aaep.org/foundation_funding_grants.htm.

The AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust and the AVMA PLIT implemented special procedures for plan members and insureds who were affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes. Only one property claim has been reported for the PLIT-sponsored program, and the insurance company is working closely with that practice owner to settle the claim. GHLIT insureds impacted by the storm could obtain an early prescription refill at any pharmacy, even if it was outside the network.

At last check, Dr. Wiley still had a few dozen horses in his care, and the outcomes of some of them remained uncertain. “That's the amazing thing about a tornado: you find things keep popping up on them that you didn't notice at first,” he said.

He said some individuals have donated to help offset owners' bills for their horses. “A lot of people don't have anything. For some of them, this is the only thing they have left.”


Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges


Dr. Daryl Buss

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges has named Dr. Daryl Buss (MIN '68) as the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Dr. Buss is dean emeritus and professor emeritus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a past president of the AAVMC. Dr. Buss replaces Dr. Henry Baker at the JVME, which is the AAVMC's peer-reviewed, scholarly journal. Dr. Buss' research interests include coronary physiology and ventricular performance.

He earned his master's and doctorate from UW-Madison. He completed specialty training in clinical cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Experimental Cardiology at the Max Planck Institute for Physiological and Clinical Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany.

American Association for the Advancement of Science


Dr. Erin Casey

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164


Dr. Shannon Mesenhowski

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Drs. Erin Casey and Shannon Mesenhowski, both members of the AVMA's inaugural Future Leaders class, have accepted fellowships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships are highly competitive and use a peer-review selection process. Starting in September, fellows spend a year working in one of five areas, where they contribute to the federal policy-making process while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy.

Dr. Casey (GA '10) will be working at the State Department in the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction within the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. She has worked at a private practice in northern Virginia since 2011. Dr. Casey has been both a participant and facilitator of the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience for veterinary students and currently chairs the Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee.

Dr. Mesenhowski (MIN '10) will spend her AAAS fellowship year at the U.S. Agency for International Development as a food security policy research and outreach specialist. Dr. Mesenhowski, who also earned a master's in public health from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, currently works at a private small animal practice in Minnesota.

Americans for Medical Progress


Christopher B. Thomson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 2; 10.2460/javma.243.2.164

Christopher B. Thomson (MIN '15) has been awarded the 2013 Michael D. Hayre Fellowship in Public Outreach, established by Americans for Medical Progress in 2008. The award is meant to promote peer education about animal research among students and young adults.

Thomson's project, “The Veterinary Impact,” will focus on student-to-student outreach at veterinary schools and conferences across America. Through campus presentations, workshops, and media initiatives, Thomson will seek to build and maintain informed understanding and acceptance of the importance of animals in biomedical research. His project will also feature a website and series of posters.

Thomson graduated from Iowa State University with bachelor's degrees in animal science and international agriculture.

Thomson is a Student AVMA delegate, a student liaison for the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, and founder and vice president of Minnesota's Research Animal Medicine Club for veterinary students interested in research.

Bayer awards communication scholarships

Bayer HealthCare announced the winners of scholarships at the inaugural Bayer Excellence in Communication Awards in May. The company created the program to highlight the importance of effective communication between veterinarians and clients and to reward veterinary students who are mastering this skill.

The company selected seven veterinary colleges to pilot the program. The colleges filmed and judged communication between students and clients in a clinical setting.

The winner from each school received a $2,500 scholarship and competed for an additional $2,500. The national winner is Jessica Bridge, who is beginning her fourth year at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

William H. Brunn

Dr. Brunn (MSU '47), 88, Silver Spring, Md., died March 12, 2013. Prior to retirement in 1990, he practiced small animal medicine at Ambassador Animal Hospital in Silver Spring. Earlier in his career, Dr. Brunn served in the Army and practiced in Canton, Ohio. He was a member of the District of Columbia VMA. Dr. Brunn is survived by three sons.

Robert K. Gubser

Dr. Gubser (ISU '55), 81, Panora, Iowa, died March 6, 2013. He practiced mainly large animal medicine in Bagley, Iowa, from 1957–1970. After that, Dr. Gubser served as a senior bank official for several years. From 1994 until retirement in 2009, he managed farms and sold real estate. Dr. Gubser was a veteran of the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of 1st lieutenant. His wife, Vicki; two daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Companion Animal Fund, Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, 1600 S. 16th St., Room 1528 LVMC, Ames, IA 50011.

Lloyd T. Harris

Dr. Harris (AUB '75), 64, Emerald Isle, N.C., died April 21, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he began his career at Jacksonville Veterinary Hospital in Jacksonville, N.C. Dr. Harris later co-established College View Veterinary Clinic and Coastal Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Jacksonville. He was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and North Carolina VMA. Dr. Harris served on the Onslow County Board of Health and was a member of the advisory councils of Northwoods Elementary and Northwoods Park Middle schools. He was also a member of the Jacksonville Rotary Club. Dr. Harris is survived by his wife, Lane, and two sons. Memorials may be made to Carolina Animal Protection Society, P.O. Box 32, Jacksonville, NC 28541; Swansboro United Methodist Church–Ministry Center Fund, 665 W. Corbett Ave., Swansboro, NC 28584; or Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/chicago13/tharris

Max J. Herman

Dr. Herman (UP '59), 81, Collegeville, Pa., died April 24, 2013. A diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, he founded Animal Dental Clinic in Norristown, Pa., in 1998. Following graduation, Dr. Herman served as a captain in the Air Force. In 1963, he established Trooper Veterinary Hospital in Norristown. During his career, Dr. Herman also worked with the Elmwood Park Zoo and co-founded the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine. In 2004, the University of Pennsylvania honored him for his work with the zoo, and the Pennsylvania VMA recognized his role in co-founding the museum in 2005. Dr. Herman was a past president of the Rotary Club of Norristown and a Paul Harris Fellow. His wife, Judy; three sons; and two daughters survive him. Dr. Herman's son, Dr. Michael J. Herman (UP '81), is a small animal veterinarian in Norristown. Memorials may be made to Rotary Foundation, c/o Rotary Club of Norristown, P.O. Box 119, Oaks, PA 19456; or University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 3800 Spruce St., Suite 172E, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Jean E. Hooks

Dr. Hooks (IL '70), 66, St. George, Utah, died Feb. 8, 2013. A small animal practitioner, she owned Zion Veterinary Clinic in Hurricane, Utah. Following graduation, Dr. Hooks became the first woman to be commissioned in the Army Veterinary Corps, serving as a captain during the Vietnam War. She later worked in Maryland and trained search and rescue dogs for more than 20 years. Dr. Hooks is survived by her daughter. Memorials may be made to Morris Animal Foundation, 10200 E. Girard Ave., Suite B430, Denver, CO 80231.

Thomas F. Hubert

Dr. Hubert (TEX '58), 78, George West, Texas, died March 26, 2013. A retired mixed animal practitioner, he had owned Hubert Veterinary Hospital in George West and Alice, Texas, and co-owned Alamosa Animal Hospital in Alice, during his career. Dr. Hubert also farmed and ranched. He was a member of the Texas and Corpus Christi VMAs. Active in civic life, Dr. Hubert served as a director of the First National Bank of George West and was a member of the George West Independent School District board of directors. He is survived by his wife, Dee Ann, and four sons. Dr. Hubert's granddaughter, Dr. Amanda H. Smith (TEX '10), is a small animal veterinarian in Buda, Texas, and his nephew, Dr. Francis A. Hubert (TEX '88), practices small animal medicine in Corpus Christi.

John F. Krob

Dr. Krob (ISU '53), 83, Tipton, Iowa, died Feb. 1, 2013. A mixed animal veterinarian, he practiced at Tipton Veterinary Clinic for 38 years. Dr. Krob was a member of the Iowa VMA. A veteran of the Korean War, he served as a 1st lieutenant in the Air Force. Dr. Krob was active with the Tipton Lions Club. His wife, Carolyn; three daughters; and three sons survive him.

Arthur O. Lindblom Jr.

Dr. Lindblom (COR '53), 88, Palm Harbor, Fla., died March 14, 2013. Prior to retirement, he served as director of veterinary services for Florida's Pinellas County for 16 years. Early in his career, Dr. Lindblom practiced mixed animal medicine in Ashville, N.Y. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. Dr. Lindblom is survived by his wife, Ethel; two sons; and a daughter.

Robert A. Mavian

Dr. Mavian (COR '62), 76, Ossining, N.Y., died April 20, 2013. A small animal veterinarian, he established Millwood Animal Hospital in Millwood, N.Y., where he practiced until 2011. Earlier in his career, Dr. Mavian worked in Kentucky and in New York state at Long Island and Briarcliff Manor. His wife, Barbara; a daughter; and a son survive him.

Jeffrey W. Miller

Dr. Miller (OSU '75), 64, Lake Helen, Fla., died Feb. 4, 2013. He was a partner at Deltona Animal Medical Center and Pine Ridge Pet Hospital, small animal practices in Deltona, Fla. Dr. Miller's wife, Janet; two sons; and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the ALS Association, 1275 K. St. N.W., Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20005; or Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First St. S.W., Rochester, MN 55905.

Marla A. Minuskin

Dr. Minuskin (IL '85), 53, Chicago, died May 3, 2013. A small animal practitioner, she co-founded Family Pet Animal Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Minuskin was a member of the Chicago VMA.

James R. O'Connor Jr.

Dr. O'Connor (COR '69), 67, Hamptonburgh, N.Y., died Dec. 13, 2012. He owned Washingtonville Animal Hospital in Washingtonville, N.Y., for more than 40 years, initially practicing mixed animal medicine and later focusing on small animals. With a special interest in equine medicine, Dr. O'Connor also served as primary veterinarian for Big Apple Farms, a Thoroughbred farm in Goshen, N.Y., in the 1980s. Dr. O'Connor's wife, Joyce; two daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, St. Jude Tribute Program, P.O. Box 1000, Department 142, Memphis, TN 38101; FISH of Blooming Grove (providing social services), P.O. Box 202, Washingtonville, NY 10992; or Blooming Grove Humane Society, 2741 Route 94, Washingtonville, NY 10992.

James F. Palmer

Dr. Palmer (IL '53), 86, Bozeman, Mont., died April 22, 2013. From 1972 until retirement, he worked for the Department of Agriculture. During that time, Dr. Palmer served two years in Australia with the USDA's foreign programs unit. Earlier in his career, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Roseville, Ill., and served as a veterinarian for the state of Hawaii, focusing on swine disease control. Dr. Palmer was an Army veteran of World War II. During his time in Roseville, he served as president of its school board. Dr. Palmer's three sons and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to Gallatin Mental Health Center, 699 Farmhouse Lane, Bozeman, MT 59715.

Morris L. Povar

Dr. Povar (COR '44), 93, Boca Raton, Fla., died March 22, 2013. In 1970, he joined the faculty of Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he spent the last 20 years of his career. During his tenure, Dr. Povar was a professor of psychology and medical science, served as a laboratory animal veterinarian, and directed animal care facilities that he helped design and deploy. He also conducted research and authored articles on eye movement in rhesus monkeys, development of implantable teeth, and anti-retroviral vaccines.

Following graduation, Dr. Povar served in the Army during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. He then joined his late brother, Dr. Ralph Povar, in practice in East Providence, co-owning first a mixed practice and then co-establishing Povar Animal Hospital, a small animal practice. In retirement, Dr. Povar volunteered at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, working on the university's animal research program and facilities and serving more than 20 years on its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. He was a past president of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science and American Society for Laboratory Animal Practitioners. In 2011, Florida Atlantic University honored Dr. Povar with its Presidential Distinguished Service Medallion.

His wife, Lotte; a daughter; and a son survive him. Dr. Povar's nephew, Dr. Mark Povar (MSU '67), is a small animal veterinarian in East Providence. Memorials may be made to Brown University, 75 Waterman St., Providence, RI 02906.

William D. Segula

Dr. Segula (MSU '55), 84, Milford, Mich., died March 6, 2013. He is survived by two daughters and a son.

Laura E. Smiley-Rogatz

Dr. Smiley-Rogatz (COR '87), 59, Blue Bell, Pa., died May 15, 2013. A small animal veterinarian, she co-owned Gwynedd Veterinary Hospital in Landsdale, Pa., with her husband, Dr. William Rogatz (COR '82). Dr. Smiley-Rogatz was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She is survived by her husband and a son. Memorials may be made to Stray Cat Blues Inc., P.O. Box 8, Colmar, PA 18915, www.petfinder.com/shelters/straycatblues.html; or World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th St. N.W., Washington, DC 20037, worldwildlife.org.

Charles L. Smith

Dr. Smith (AUB '49), 90, Huntsville, Ala., died Nov. 21, 2012. He owned Smith Animal Hospital in Huntsville, where he practiced mixed animal medicine for almost 55 years. During that time, Dr. Smith also organized rabies clinics in Alabama's Madison County. He was a member of the Rotary Club. Dr. Smith's son survives him. Memorials in honor of Dr. Charles L. and Ann Riley Smith may be made to First United Methodist Church, 120 Greene St. S.E., Huntsville, AL 35801; or Floyd Fann State Veterans Home, 2701 Meridian St., Huntsville, AL 35811.

Lecreca A. Taliaferro

Dr. Taliaferro (TEX '94), 46, Haslet, Texas, died May 8, 2013. A small animal practitioner, she owned Elite Veterinary Care in Hurst, Texas, and served as a consultant for pet behavioral issues. Dr. Taliaferro is survived by her husband, Chuck, and two daughters. Memorials in her name may be made to the LST Family Scholarship, FirstBank Southwest, P.O. Box 929, Perryton, TX 79070.

Edward M. Taylor

Dr. Taylor (GA '71), 66, Big Canoe, Ga., died May 1, 2013. A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and a past president of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, he owned Virginia Veterinary Dentistry in Crozet, Va., since 2006. Prior to that, Dr. Taylor owned Powers Ferry Animal Hospital and Crabapple Animal Hospital, small animal practices in Atlanta and Alpharetta, Ga, respectively. During his career, he volunteered dental services at the Belize Zoo, Belize City. Dr. Taylor's wife, Dr. Lynne S. Taylor (UP '78), a public health veterinarian for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to the Charlottesville-Albemarle Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 3355 Berkmar Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901; Wildlife Center of Virginia, 1800 S. Delphine Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980; Big Canoe Animal Rescue, Big Canoe, GA 30143; or Belize Zoo, Belize City, Belize.

Kenneth D. Weide

Dr. Weide (KSU '58), 79, Lincoln, Neb., died March 31, 2013. From 1984 until retirement in 1998, he was executive director of the Western Veterinary Conference. Following graduation, Dr. Weide practiced mixed animal medicine in Platte City, Mo. From 1959–1962, he served as an instructor at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station. After earning his doctorate in veterinary pathology from Michigan State University in 1962, Dr. Weide joined the faculty of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor of pathology and served as the first director of the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. In 1967, he was appointed head of the Department of Veterinary Science and first director of the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at South Dakota State University. From 1971–1973, Dr. Weide served as the first extension veterinarian at Arizona State University. He was named dean of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1973, serving in that position until 1981. Dr. Weide remained on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia until 1986, during which time he began his service as executive director of the Western Veterinary Conference.

He was a past president of the WVC, a past chairman of the North Central Conference of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, and a past secretary of the Kansas Swine Repopulation Association. Dr. Weide also served as a consultant to the Kansas State Board of Health and was an honorary member of the Arizona Academy of Veterinary Practice. He is survived by a daughter and two sons. Contributions toward a memorial in his name at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine may be made c/o Lee R. Weide, 834 County Road 2400, Crete, NE 68333.

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