Scary smart

“I had a professor who said if octopuses ever evolved into terrestrial creatures, they'd rule the world.”

“Veterinarians half joke that human doctors have it easy because they're only dealing with one species. With aquatic animals, you're not just dealing with one species but multiple taxa,” Dr. Poll said. And yet, it's the octopus that stole her heart.

“I love octopuses,” she said. “They're intelligent. They're inquisitive. They're cunning.” Despite the octopus's odd appearance and anatomy—they have three hearts, no vertebrae, and a donut-shaped brain, for instance—Dr. Poll said they possess advanced sensory and cognitive systems that evolved in parallel with those of mammals.

Like squid and cuttlefish, octopuses are mollusks known as cephalopods. The octopus alone, however, has demonstrated a capacity for learning and problem solving as well as short- and long-term memory and is considered the smartest of the invertebrates.

“I had a professor who said if octopuses ever evolved into terrestrial creatures, they'd rule the world,” recalled Dr. Greg Lewbart, a professor of aquatic, zoologic, and wildlife medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The octopus is one of the more intriguing animals Dr. Lewbart has encountered during a career beginning in the late ‘80s when aquatic veterinary medicine was a relatively novel field.

A catalyst for the advancement of aquaculture and aquatic animal health and welfare in veterinary medicine came in 1977 with the formation of Aquavet. The program, created by the veterinary colleges at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, offers an opportunity for veterinary students to participate in intensive clinical training in aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate medicine.

Aquavet has been headquartered since 2014 at Cornell, which, along with NC State, Penn, and the universities of Florida and California-Davis, is known for its aquatic animal medicine program. Mississippi State University is a recognized leader in the field of aquaculture.

In the laboratory

Scientists currently are looking at the underlying neural mechanisms for how octopuses expertly match the color, pattern, and texture of their skin to their surroundings. Roger Hanlon, PhD, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is a member of a team of researchers who revealed cuttlefish and squid skin is full of light-detecting molecules known as opsins. These specialized molecules are the same as those found in the animals' retinas, suggesting they have a capacity for perceiving light through their skin. Independent research later confirmed that opsins are present in octopus skin.

Researchers suspect cephalopods are masters of camouflage partly because their skin provides visual information about the environment into which they're blending.

Dr. Amy Hancock-Ronemus is the attending veterinarian at the Marine Biological Laboratory, where she oversees the humane treatment of animals used in the biological and biomedical studies conducted at the campus. She said octopuses aren't ideal subjects for Dr. Hanlon's camouflage research because they're not the most cooperative of subjects in the laboratory.

“The octopus is too smart for this type of study. You put an octopus in a tank, and the first thing it will do is explore the tank, then try to escape,” Dr. Hancock-Ronemus explained. “They don't necessarily care about matching the bottom (of the tank) because they're probably smart enough to know they don't have to.”

Cephalopods, like all invertebrates, are exempt from federal regulations covering certain animal species used in research. It's a different story in the United Kingdom, where the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), on account of its intelligence, has been a covered species since 1993. It was the only invertebrate designated as such in the U.K. until 2012 when the animal welfare legislation was expanded to include all cephalopods.

Notably, cephalopods were addressed for the first time in the 2013 edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals.

At the Marine Biological Laboratory, the policy is that all research animals are to be treated humanely, according to Dr. Hancock-Ronemus. “Any lab animal veterinarian will tell you we need to give animals the benefit of the doubt,” she said. “We know any animal can feel stress and distress, and there's really no good argument for not giving them the most humane care we know of.”

One of the least understood octopus traits is its life span. It varies according to species, but octopuses, both wild and captive, live roughly 1 to 5 years. This short lifespan is a consequence of a reproductive strategy known as semelparity, meaning that octopuses breed only once in their lifetime and die shortly thereafter.

“It's a big evolutionary question, why octopuses have evolved with such intelligence but only live a few years,” Dr. Hancock-Ronemus noted. “You don't see anything like it in other intelligent animals, which all have relatively long life spans.”


Captive octopuses require frequent mental stimulation. The giant Pacific octopus on display at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is provided with toys and novel items and has training sessions several times each week.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124

As for health issues, Dr. Harms of the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology said parasitic and bacterial infections are the most common maladies seen in captive octopuses. “We don't really have any way to address the parasites, which we usually see postmortem. Bacterial infections can be successfully treated with off-label antibiotics,” he explained.

On account of their high intelligence, octopuses require frequent mental stimulation. Eve Barrs, an aquarist at Shedd Aquarium, has worked with four giant Pacific octopuses over the past eight years. Shedd currently has one octopus. Barrs said each octopus is put through training sessions several times a week, providing the creature with variety and the staff an opportunity to closely monitor its behavior and health.

Each octopus prefers a particular food or has a favorite item or toy used as part of the enrichment experience, according to Barrs. One enjoyed ice cube trays. Another would not part with a whiffle ball. “He kept it close to him at all times, curled in his tentacle,” she recalled. “He'd bring it with him during feedings and carry it back to his den afterwards.”

Octopus personalities also vary. One of the Shedd's previous octopuses of a nocturnal species would nevertheless wake during the day to interact with the aquarist when he was working on the exhibit. “If (the aquarist) was scrubbing algae, the octopus would be over in that area, watching and touching the brush and his hand,” Barrs said. “If he was taking a water sample, the octopus would be at the water's surface to touch the sample bottle. And if it was time for a feeding or training session, the octopus was there right away, and even lingered for extra attention after the feeding was over.”

Another of the aquarium's octopuses would wake up only long enough to play with a favorite toy or examine a new object. “That octopus really liked to squirt water out through her siphon,” Barrs recalled. “She would come to the surface and aim the spray of water right at whoever was standing next to her habitat.”

Federal rules published June 3 detail how veterinarians will provide oversight for an expanded variety of medicated livestock feeds.

The Food and Drug Administration issued the rules on veterinary feed directives, which are similar to prescriptions, to take effect Oct. 1. The pending changes in the regulations governing medicated feed are part of an effort to increase veterinarian oversight of antimicrobial use on farms.

The FDA has warned pharmaceutical companies that they need to remove over-the-counter access to antimicrobials considered important for human medicine—as well as eliminate administration of those drugs through feed or water for production purposes—by the end of 2016 or risk regulatory action. And all companies affected have agreed to comply, according to the FDA.

The agreements affect about 300 antimicrobial applications, which will have to be available only through prescriptions or VFDs if they are to remain approved for sale. Nearly two-thirds of the affected approved drug applications listed by the FDA as of June 4 were expected to transition from over-the-counter availability to requiring VFDs, according to FDA spokeswoman Megan Bensette.

The FDA also has removed approvals for some products that were no longer in production, on the basis of agreements with the drug approval owners.

The changes in the VFD rules are a response to complaints from stakeholders in agriculture that the current regulations, which affect only a handful of drug applications, are overly burdensome.

The new rules mean that VFD drugs will no longer be automatically classified as pharmaceuticals with a high risk of resulting in unsafe residues in tissues used for food, which has resulted in a requirement that VFDs be filled only by licensed feed mills. VFD drugs instead will be categorized case by case.

The rules also will allow veterinarians to issue VFDs for animals under state definitions of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, provided the state definition includes key elements of the federal VCPR definition. In the absence of such a state government definition, veterinarians can administer VFDs under the federal definition.

That allowance is intended to let states adjust criteria for administering veterinary care on the basis of current standards, advancements in medicine and other technologies, and regional needs. Those regional needs include access to veterinarians in remote areas, the lack of whom would eliminate access to VFD drugs.

“As veterinary oversight of the therapeutic use of certain medically important antimicrobials is phased in, FDA will continue to seek opportunities to work with our Federal, State, and other stakeholder partners to help address the practical issues associated with limited access to veterinary services in certain parts of the country,” the notice states.

The rules also revise definitions, clarify certain requirements, and cut from two years to one the required time that veterinarians must keep records of VFDs.

The Federal Trade Commission released a report in May finding that veterinarians will continue to face increasing competition from nonveterinary retailers for pet medication sales—and recommending ways to make the pet medications market even more competitive.

The FTC began exploring the subject of pet medications largely in light of introduction of the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, which would require veterinarians to provide pet owners with written prescriptions in every instance. Because the “AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics” state that veterinarians shall honor clients' requests for prescriptions in lieu of dispensing, the AVMA believes the bill is unnecessary and burdensome.

Staff with the FTC have sought to answer the following questions:

  • “To what extent, if any, is competition in the pet medications industry adversely affected by limited consumer knowledge of and access to portable prescriptions?”

  • “To what extent, if any, is competition in the pet medications industry adversely affected by manufacturer distribution practices that restrict non-veterinary retailers' access to pet medications?”

  • “To the extent that competition in the pet medications industry may be adversely affected by current industry practices, are there less restrictive approaches that could be used to enhance competition without compromising animal health and safety?”

In October 2012, the FTC conducted a public workshop to advance the commission's understanding of these issues. Participants included veterinarians, manufacturers and distributors, retailers, pharmacists, and consumer advocates. Several of the panelists represented the AVMA. The FTC received and reviewed over 700 comments in conjunction with the workshop, including over 580 comments from veterinarians and veterinary hospitals and comments from the AVMA and state veterinary associations.

According to the commission's 2015 report, “The U.S. market for pet medications is growing, and is in a state of transition. Although many pet owners continue to purchase their pet medications directly from veterinarians, this traditional distribution model has been challenged by the entry and expansion of retail businesses (both online and brick-and-mortar) that sell pet medications, as well as changes in the business practices of pet medication manufacturers, distributors, veterinarians, and retailers. These changes in distribution patterns and methods of sale have had varying effects on these market participants who tend to have different perspectives on how consumers should obtain pet medications.” The report offers the following conclusions:

  • “FTC staff believes that improved consumer access to portable prescriptions would likely enhance competition in the pet medications industry.”

  • “Many stakeholders argue that exclusive distribution and exclusive dealing practices by pet medication manufacturers are prevalent in the pet medications industry to the detriment of pet medications consumers.”

  • “Finally, increased availability of low-priced generic animal drugs would likely result in significant consumer cost savings.”

The report identified the following as topics that could benefit from additional study: the pricing of pet medications across different channels of distribution, the rate of errors in pet medication dispensing by retail pharmacists and veterinarians, the need for and impact of automatic prescription release requirements, and details regarding the gray market whereby retailers obtain pet medications that manufacturers have restricted for sale through veterinary practices.

The FTC report is available at www.ftc.gov/policy/reports under “staff and commission reports about specific topics of interest.”

Greg Cima

Construction of a $1.25 billion foreign animal disease laboratory began May 27 with a groundbreaking in Manhattan, Kansas.

The planned 570,000-square-foot National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility is expected to be operational in 2022, according to the Department of Homeland Security. It will be used by the DHS and two Department of Agriculture agencies, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Agricultural Research Service, for conducting research, training veterinarians in emergency preparedness and response, and developing disease countermeasures.

It is being built to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which is off the coast of Long Island, New York, and has been used for work on foreign animal diseases since 1954.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA CEO, attended the groundbreaking ceremony and was administrator of APHIS when work toward replacing Plum Island began nearly a decade ago. The DHS began accepting proposals for the NBAF site in January 2006 and announced selection of the Manhattan location in January 2009.

Dr. DeHaven said the new facility in Kansas will give more room for the agencies involved in protecting against foreign and emerging diseases of livestock and more biosecurity for that work. “There are really three tenants and three separate functions that happen at Plum Island that will now happen in a bigger way at this new facility,” he said.

He noted that APHIS employees will use the facility in providing rapid diagnostic tests for foreign animal diseases; ARS employees will use it for research on better preventing and responding to foreign animal diseases, including vaccine development; and DHS Science and Technology Directorate employees will use it in developing counterterrorism measures.

“This will provide better security and far more space than what currently exists on Plum Island,” he said.

The NBAF will give the nation a laboratory meeting the highest biosafety level classification—biosafety level 4—for use in studying foreign animal diseases and emerging diseases affecting livestock and other large animals, DHS information states.

The improvements will help federal agencies ensure the safety and security of the vulnerable U.S. food supply, Dr. DeHaven said. He cited the damage done by the naturally occurring outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza, which had killed more than 40 million birds by the start of July, in describing a need to improve detection of outbreaks quickly and prepare vaccines or other measures.

He also noted that the NBAF likely will provide job opportunities for veterinarians involved in animal diagnostics and research.

In a statement about the groundbreaking for the laboratory, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the NBAF's advanced laboratory capabilities will help protect the nation's food supply and public health.

“We will soon be able to ensure availability of vaccines and other rapid response capabilities to curb an outbreak,” he said in the statement.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the DHS announcement that replacing aging laboratory facilities has been a USDA and DHS priority.

“This innovative new facility is capable of producing the research needed to protect our nation's farmers, food supply, public health, and the rural economy,” he said.

The building site had been cleared of other structures several years earlier, and construction of the building's central utility plant is scheduled for completion in October.

Leaders of 150 organizations have committed to changes or actions to prevent harm from antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.

The commitments, delivered in connection with June's White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, are from companies involved in delivery of clinical medicine, pharmaceutical manufacturing, agriculture, and retail; organizations representing human and veterinary medicine, including the AVMA; nonprofit advocacy organizations; and associations representing agriculture and meat industries.

“Private sector participation is essential to our Nation's success in preventing, detecting, and responding to antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and in preserving the efficacy of our existing antibiotics while enhancing the innovation and development of new antibiotics, therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines,” a White House announcement states.

Examples of the commitments include the following:

Foster Farms will limit antimicrobial treatments to use of drugs that are not considered important to human medicine and only in chickens with documented disease or disease control needs.

Elanco Animal Health will direct two-thirds of its food animal research budget toward diseases now treated by antimicrobial classes used in both humans and animals because few alternatives exist.

The National Turkey Federation will support collection of data on administration of antimicrobials to turkeys and will provide assessments of risks and benefits.

And the AVMA will conduct an educational campaign on therapeutic use of antimicrobials in animals and pending increases in veterinarian oversight of antimicrobial administration (see page 129).

President Obama also signed a memorandum directing federal departments and agencies to create a preference system for meat and poultry produced with responsible antimicrobial use. The preference will affect food served in federal government cafeterias.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA CEO and an attendee at the forum, said those working in human and animal health were separated into two sessions for much of the meeting.

“I think the most fruitful territory would have been discussions between animal health and human health officials, looking for areas where we agree and exploring solutions for those areas where we don't agree,” Dr. DeHaven said.

For example, he has gotten the impression many in human health think reducing or eliminating antimicrobial administration to food animals would eliminate antimicrobial resistance problems. But he said misuse and overuse in human medicine likely are responsible for as many of those resistance problems if not more. In addition, some he talked to in human medicine were unaware of pending changes in oversight and use of antimicrobials in animals.

“We've got some misperceptions based on lack of communication and understanding,” he said. “And separating the two groups at this meeting yesterday, we lost a really great opportunity to have that kind of dialogue.”

APHIS clarifies rules on biologics production

Federal rules now clarify that, while veterinarians can make custom biologics for patients, that allowance does not extend to contract work through unlicensed commercial laboratories.

The changes to Department of Agriculture regulations, which took effect July 10, state that veterinarians can continue making vaccines and other biologics for administration to their own patients under an exemption to the licensing requirements that apply to veterinary biologics manufacturers. But the regulations now state that those veterinarians can make such products only in the same facilities they use for daily practice.

Veterinary assistants also can prepare biologics when the licensed veterinarians responsible for the products are available on the premises during preparation.

“Such preparation may not be consigned to any other party or sub-contracted to a commercial laboratory/manufacturing facility,” the regulations state.

Officials with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service had proposed the clarification to the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act regulations in July 2012.

A Federal Register notice published in May 2015 indicates some comments sent in response to the proposal had included arguments that the changes would restrict access to custom vaccines and slow veterinarians' responses to mutating viruses.

“We do not intend to hinder innovation and the development of valuable new technologies, nor do we anticipate that this rule will have such an effect,” APHIS officials wrote in response. “Any manufacturing establishment wishing to provide its technology and expertise to veterinarians has several licensing options that will allow it to market its products.”

Despite the concerns raised in comments, the notice predicts little or no effect of the rules on veterinary practitioners.

“Veterinary practitioners who are in compliance with the regulations do not need to alter the way they conduct their veterinarian-client-patient relationships,” it states. “This final rule will not change the nature of the exemption, the number of veterinary practitioners eligible to take advantage of the exemption, or the criteria that must be satisfied in order to establish the existence of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.”

In a September 2012 letter, AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven wrote that the AVMA appreciated the proposed clarification, which aligns with the AVMA Guidelines for Use of Autogenous Biologics. More information is available at www.regulations.gov under docket number APHIS-2011-0048. The AVMA's response to the proposal is available at http://jav.ma/1R9vED2.

SCAVMAs in Ariz., Tenn. receive charters


Students at the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine receive a charter for their SCAVMA from Dr. Rebecca Stinson (second right), AVMA vice president.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124

Veterinary students at Midwestern University in Arizona and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee received their charters as new student chapters of the AVMA.

The Midwestern chapter received its charter April 6, and the Lincoln chapter received its charter April 21. More than 80 percent of veterinary students at each school have joined the chapters, giving each chapter a vote in the Student AVMA House of Delegates.

Midwestern's SCAVMA chapter has 97 inaugural members, and Lincoln's has 85. They are the 34th and 35th SCAVMA chapters, 30 of which are in the U.S. and five of which are at international schools.

In January, the AVMA Board of Directors had approved recognition of both chapters.

Two years ago, the AVMA Council on Education granted both universities notice that they can expect future accreditation for their developing veterinary colleges, provided they follow presented plans. Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine, which is in Glendale, Ariz., received its notice in May 2013, and Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, which is in Harrogate, Tenn., received its notice in July 2013.

The following are the Midwestern University chapter's inaugural officers: Amirah Nasr, president; Tiffany Riddle, president-elect; Leigh Ann Howard, secretary; and Leeann Coddington, treasurer.


Dr. Derrick D. Hall (left), lead assistant director for student initiatives for AVMA, hands a SCAVMA charter to Dr. Brian Sidaway, dean of the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124

And the following are the Lincoln Memorial chapter's inaugural officers: Taylor McConnell, president; Kelly Murphy, vice president; Kerri Haider, president-elect; Meredith Rice, vice president–elect; Kristin Sadler, treasurer; and Sunny Pan, secretary and treasurer-elect.

Veterinarian honored for efforts against rabies

A veterinarian and lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service was honored in April for his domestic and international work to prevent and control rabies infections.

Dr. Ryan M. Wallace received the 2015 James H. Steele Veterinary Public Health Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award was given during the 64th annual Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference in Atlanta, and it honors current or recent service officers for outstanding contributions to areas of veterinary public health and one health.

Dr. Wallace was honored for his work that included development of wildlife disease surveillance systems for emerging pathogens, synthesis of scientific knowledge useful in developing recommendations for human exposures to zoonoses, and development in Haiti of a systematic animal rabies surveillance system.

Dr. Wallace now is a veterinary medical officer in the CDC's poxvirus and rabies branch.


Dr. Ryan M. Wallace

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124

Dr. James H. Steele (1913–2013) was the first chief of the CDC's Veterinary Public Health Division.


Dr. Lauren Davidson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124


Dr. Glen Wright

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124


Dr. Johanna Elfenbein

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124

Dr. Natalie Isaza (Florida ‘94), a professor of shelter medicine heavily involved in community outreach, received the Alumni Achievement Award. She joined UF's faculty in 2003 and developed the Merial Shelter Medicine Clerkship, now known as the Veterinary Community Outreach Program.

Dr. Isaza also administers a donor-funded program known as Helping Alachua's Animals Receive Treatment and Surgery, which helps cover the cost of treating shelter animals for medical issues beyond basic spay and neuter. She is a co-founder of the St. Francis House Pet Care Clinic in Gainesville, Florida.

Dr. Lauren Davidson (Florida ‘99) received the Distinguished Service Award. A commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Davidson is director of veterinary resources for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Davidson serves on various committees and boards addressing issues among female USPHS officers, including leadership and work-life balance. In addition, she mentors students in the Washington, D.C., area interested in veterinary medicine, science, and technology.

Dr. Pamela Ginn (Colorado State ‘83) received the Special Service Award. Dr. Ginn worked several years in small animal private practice and joined UF's faculty in 1992 after completing a residency in anatomic pathology. She developed UF's dermatopathology service and is internationally recognized as an expert in skin-related diseases.

Dr. Ginn was named associate dean for students and instruction at the UF veterinary college in 2012 and has played a key leadership role in curricular revision and documentation, student wellness, and establishment of student learning outcomes.

Drs. Glen Wright (Florida ‘06) and Johanna Elfenbein (Florida ‘07) received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Dr. Wright is director of veterinary technology at Florida A&M University, where he helped guide the FAMU program through accreditation by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. Dr. Wright also serves on the UF veterinary college admissions committee.

Dr. Elfenbein is an assistant professor of equine internal medicine at North Carolina State University. She completed a residency in large animal internal medicine at UF in 2011, soon becoming board-certified in her field. Her research focuses on the pathogenesis of Salmonella bacteria, including identification of novel pathways used by the bacterium to grow in the gastrointestinal tract.


Dr. Doug Graham

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124


Dr. Bill Casto

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 2; 10.2460/javma.247.2.124

Event: Annual meeting, April 24–26, White Sulphur Springs Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Holly Kossuth, Follansbee. A 1987 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kossuth owns Community Care Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic in Follansbee. She is immediate past president of the WVVMA and serves as West Virginia's delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Veterinary Service Award: Drs. Doug Graham, Blacksburg, and Bill Casto, Ripley. A 1998 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Graham works in the office of the college's dean, where he is in charge of improving relations between referring veterinarians and receiving veterinarians at the college. A 1974 graduate of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Casto works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as veterinary medical officer for the state of West Virginia. Officials: Drs. Shawn Sette, Hurricane, president; Scott Moore, Fairmont, president-elect; April Munique, Princeton, secretary; Danny Montgomery, Princeton, treasurer; and Holly Kossuth, Follansbee, immediate past president

AVMA member


Gary W. Crouch

Dr. Crouch (Texas A&M ‘68), 71, Los Fresnos, Texas, died Dec. 29, 2014. A mixed animal practitioner, he owned Animal Medical Clinic in Los Fresnos and Brownsville, Texas. Dr. Crouch also bred, raised, and showed market hogs. He served as veterinarian for the National Swine Registry Southwest Type Conference and was the official show veterinarian for the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show. Dr. Crouch was a past president of the RGVLS Breeding Gilt Committee and a member of the Texas VMA. He was active with the 4-H Club and National FFA Organization. Dr. Crouch is survived by his wife, Candyce; a daughter and two sons; and eight grandchildren. His sister, Dr. Ginanna Crouch (Texas A&M ‘77), is a small animal veterinarian in Brookshire, Texas. Memorials may be made toward the Dr. Gary Crouch Memorial Scholarship, RGVLS for Breeding Gilt Showmanship Senior Division, 1000 N. Texas Blvd., Mercedes, TX 78570; or Lower Valley Humane Society, P.O. Box 8278, Brownsville, TX 78526.

Merlin R. Funderburg

Dr. Funderburg (Ohio State ‘71), 69, Piqua, Ohio, died April 13, 2015. In 1974, he established Piqua Animal Hospital, where he practiced small animal medicine until 2010. Prior to that, Dr. Funderburg worked at Veterinary Medical Center in Everett, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Ohio VMA and a life member of The Ohio State University Alumni Association.

Dr. Funderburg's wife, Kathy, survives him. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Miami County, P.O. Box 502, Troy, OH 45373; Miami County Animal Shelter, 1110 N. County Road, 25-A, Troy, OH 45373; or Piqua Community Foundation, P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356.

Robert J. Harris

Dr. Harris (Cornell ‘50), 98, Turlock, California, died Feb. 21, 2015. He was the founder of Lander Veterinary Clinic in Turlock, where he practiced bovine medicine until retirement in 1985. Dr. Harris was a past president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and Northern San Joaquin VMA. He was also a past president of the Turlock Rotary Club. Dr. Harris served in the Army during World War II.

He is survived by a daughter and two sons, five grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren, five stepgreat-grandchildren, and two stepgreat-great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 1660 Arbor Way, Turlock, CA 95280.

Arthur Jennison

Dr. Jennison (California-Davis ‘76), 77, Modesto, California, died April 12, 2015. He owned Empire Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Empire, California, prior to retirement. Prior to that, Dr. Jennison practiced at Crows Landing Road Veterinary Clinic in Modesto. His wife, Cathy, and a son survive him.

Richard D. Larcey

Dr. Larcey (Ohio State ‘46), 90, Catawba Island, Ohio, died Jan. 4, 2015. He owned Westgate Animal Hospital in Fairview Park, Ohio, for 40 years. Dr. Larcey was an Army veteran. His three sons, two daughters, and 12 grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173.

Michael J. Rausch

Dr. Rausch (Purdue ‘75), 65, Winamac, Indiana, died Jan. 17, 2015. A small animal practitioner, he owned Winamac Pet Medical Center prior to retirement in 2005. Earlier in his career, Dr. Rausch owned Animal Hospital of South Bend in South Bend, Indiana, and a house call practice. He was a member of the Indiana VMA and National Wild Turkey Federation. Dr. Rausch's wife, Pamela, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, 1 of 1000 Program, P.O. Box 67, Friendship, IN 47021; Pulaski County Community Foundation, 127 E. Pearl St., Winamac, IN 46996; or Pulaski Animal Center, 13 E. Indian Hills Road, Winamac, IN 46996.

W. Dale Russell

Dr. Russell (Michigan State ‘51), 87, Rockville, Indiana, died April 3, 2015. A mixed animal veterinarian, he owned a practice in Rockville, Indiana, until 1988. After that, Dr. Russell worked part time at his former practice. He was a life member of the Indiana VMA. Active in civic life, Dr. Russell served three terms on the Parke County Council, was a past vice president of the Association of Indiana Counties, and was a charter member of the Rockville Elks. His wife, Christine; five sons and two daughters; and seven grandchildren survive him.

Robert C. Schuknecht

Dr. Schuknecht (Iowa State ‘43), 94, Port Washington, Wisconsin, died April 20, 2015. He owned a mixed animal practice in Saukville, Wisconsin, for 50 years. Dr. Schuknecht was a member of the Wisconsin VMA. An Army veteran, he was also a member of the American Legion. Dr. Schuknecht helped establish the Oscar Grady Public Library in Saukville. He is survived by two sons and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Oscar Grady Public Library, 151 S. Main St., Saukville, WI 53080.

Kelly H. Smith

Smith (Michigan State ‘15), 28, East Lansing, Michigan, died March 24, 2015. She was a member of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine student chapter of the AVMA. An avid equestrian, Smith competed in national competitions as part of The Eventing Association of Michigan's Area 8 team. She won a Michigan Combined Training Association state championship and several blue ribbons in her eventing divisions.

Memorials may be made to The Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Drive NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534; or Canter of Michigan, 8619 Edgewood Park Drive, Commerce Township, MI 48382.

Childs R. Wright Sr.

Dr. Wright (Georgia ‘63), 79, Eden, North Carolina, died April 13, 2015. A mixed animal veterinarian, he was the founder of Central Animal Hospital in Eden. Dr. Wright was an honorary member of the North Carolina VMA. His wife, Jo Anne; two sons; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Rockingham County Animal Shelter, 250 Cherokee Camp Road, Reidsville, NC 27320.