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Law reflects ever-evolving public sentiment on animal welfare

By R. Scott Nolen

President Lyndon Johnson made history when, on Aug. 24, 1966, against a backdrop of civil unrest, he signed the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, thereby enacting the first federal law protecting the welfare of animals used for scientific research. The new law—renamed the Animal Welfare Act in 1970—also cracked down on the stolen-pet trade by regulating animal dealers and the laboratories they supplied.

Originally, the AWA charged the Department of Agriculture with setting minimum standards of care and use for laboratory animals. Over the years, Congress has refined those welfare standards while extending coverage to animals outside the laboratory.

“Five decades after passage of the AWA, our goal—the advancement of animal welfare—remains the same, but Animal Care's job has expanded to encompass and protect even more animals,” said Bernadette Juarez, deputy administrator of Animal Care, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service program that enforces the welfare law.

“As it stands, we are responsible for the health and welfare of animals used for commercial breeding, public exhibition, transported commercially, and, of course, used for research,” Juarez continued. “The AWA also prohibits animal fighting, which has been heavily relied upon over the past decade to successfully prosecute animal fighting ventures involving dogs and birds.”


Laboratory rabbits are inspected by an Animal Care veterinary medical officer. (Photos by R. Anson Eaglin/USDA APHIS)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

The APHIS program employs roughly 50 inspectors and 80 veterinary medical officers, including supervisors and specialists, who support day-to-day inspection activities, according to Juarez. Animal Care conducted some 10,000 inspections in FY 2015, and she anticipates conducting a similar number of inspections in FY 2016.

The AWA is not, however, without its critics, who argue its protections are too limited. For instance, rats of the genus Rattus and mice of the genus Mus, which constitute most animals used in scientific research, are exempt from the welfare regulations, as are animals used for food and fiber.

Animal welfare laws are “dynamic,” explained Juarez, a lawyer, and the federal law will continue to evolve with public opinion and as animal health, welfare, and behavior are better understood. “The AWA generally garners bipartisan support,” she explained, “and as a public administrator of the law, my goal is to focus on the common ground that exists among stakeholders with diverse views, and use that common ground to continuously improve our Animal Care program.”

The first national law to regulate animal experimentation was the Cruelty to Animals Act passed in Britain in 1876. Efforts to pass similar legislation at the federal level in the United States had been successfully blocked by the biomedical research community, which argued animal experimentation was a necessity and the imposition of any regulations would hinder scientific discovery.

Congress mostly agreed with that view, that is, until the Nov. 29, 1965, issue of Sports Illustrated featured an article about Pepper, a Dalmatian stolen by a dog dealer from a Pennsylvania family who discovered their pet had been sold to a New York City hospital and euthanized during an experiment. The episode prompted New York Rep. Joseph Resnick to sponsor a House bill that would require dog and cat dealers, and the laboratories that purchased the animals, to be licensed and inspected by the USDA, which would also institute minimum standards of care and treatment for laboratory animals. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate.

Then in 1966, as hearings were being held on the House bill, Life magazine published “Concentration Camp for Dogs,” a photo essay showing the inhumane conditions at a Maryland dog dealer's farm. The article not only generated more letters to Life than any of the previous Vietnam or civil rights stories but also prompted Congress to pass the laboratory animal welfare bill, sending it on to President Johnson.

Veterinarians were managing laboratory animal colonies at a small number of research facilities for decades prior to passage of the AWA. In 1915, the Mayo Clinic had become the first U. S. institution to have a veterinarian overseeing its laboratory animals.

Passage of the AWA meant veterinary oversight was no longer optional for many institutions, as the law mandated “adequate veterinary care” be provided for some species of laboratory animals kept under certain conditions. Laboratories had to register with the USDA as well as form an oversight committee with at least one veterinarian member. The committee would regularly assess animal treatment, practices, and care during ongoing research and examine the animal study areas twice a year.

The American Society for Laboratory Animal Practitioners was formed a little more than a month after the AWA was enacted to help train and educate the veterinarians needed by the hundreds of newly registered facilities, according to Dr. William Stokes, a retired rear admiral in the U. S. Public Health Service and the ASLAP delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates.

Dr. Stokes is currently assistant director for animal welfare operations in Animal Care. Veterinarians, he said, have made substantial contributions to animal welfare and the ethical evolution of animal experimentation through the establishment and leadership of various organizations such as ASLAP along with the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, and Institute for Laboratory Animal Research at the National Academy of Sciences.


An Animal Care inspector examines outdoor pens during a routine inspection of a USDA-licensed dog-breeding facility.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

The greatest impact on laboratory animal welfare, Dr. Stokes suggested, came when the U. S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training were adopted in May 1985, and then were effectively implemented into the law with the December 1985 amendment to the AWA and the Health Research Extension Act of 1985. These new laws required the establishment of institutional animal care and use committees to oversee animal care facilities and programs, and to review and approve all proposed animal research activities covered by the AWA and Public Health Service Policy.

“This has led to careful ethical consideration of animals before they are used, including careful review to ensure that pain and distress are minimized or avoided,” Dr. Stokes said.

Juarez has no doubts that the welfare of those animals covered by the AWA has improved as a result of the law. “During my roughly 14-year tenure with the USDA, I've observed improvement in the care and welfare of elephants and dogs in particular, the safe and humane handling of animals, and assessment of whether licensing applicants are fit to hold an AWA license,” she said.

“In the last few years alone, we closed an unintended loophole in the AWA that had allowed breeders to sell animals sight unseen over the internet without being licensed,” Juarez said. “In April of this year, we issued a new policy statement to promote the humane handling of newborn exotic cats, such as tigers and lions.”

She added that Animal Care recently issued two proposed rules, one promoting standards of care for captive marine mammals, the other establishing licensing exemptions under certain conditions to allow the program to direct its inspection and enforcement resources toward licensed businesses that aren't complying with AWA standards.



On Aug. 24, the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act is signed into law. The Act sets minimum standards for the care and housing for dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs in the premises of animal dealers and laboratories, and it requires identification of dogs and cats to prevent theft. Dealers must be licensed, and laboratories must be registered.


On Dec. 24, Congress amends the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, renamed the Animal Welfare Act, extending its protections to all warmblooded animals in laboratories.


Congress passes an amendment (signed into law April 22) to broaden the Animal Welfare Act to, among other things, regulate carriers, intermediate handlers, and animal brokers, so as to require adherence to humane standards; specify that all dogs, including dogs for hunting, security, or breeding purposes, be protected; require a veterinarian's certificate for animals in interstate transport; and require all federal agencies using laboratory animals to show they fully comply with the law.


On Dec. 23, the omnibus Food Security Act, including the Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act, is enacted. ISLAA is an amendment to the AWA intended to minimize the pain and distress of animals in the laboratory. Among other things, it establishes an information service in the National Agricultural Library to provide data on alternatives to animals in research, help prevent unintended duplication of experiments and tests, and supply information to institutions for training scientists and other personnel in humane practices. Each registered research facility must appoint an institutional animal care and use committee, including a veterinarian and an unaffiliated person, to represent the general community interest in the welfare of the animals. The committee must inspect the animal laboratories twice a year and report deficiencies to the institution for correction. Investigators are required to consider alternatives and to consult with a veterinarian before beginning any experiment that could cause pain.


On Nov. 28, the omnibus Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act is adopted into law. The Pet Theft Act, included in the bill, amends the AWA so as to require pounds to hold dogs and cats for five days before releasing them to dealers. The AWA is further amended to allow the Department of Agriculture to seek injunctions against any licensed facility found dealing in stolen animals or placing the health of any animal in serious danger in violation of the law.


On May 13, the omnibus Farm Security and Rural Investment Act is enacted. It includes language changing the definition of “animal” under the AWA to specifically exclude birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus bred for use in research.


The AWA is amended May 3 to make it a violation to engage in animal fighting and acts that would promote animal fighting. The amendment makes it a felony punishable by up to three years in prison to engage in such activities.


On June 18, the omnibus Food, Conservation, and Energy Act is adopted into law. It includes an amendment to the AWA that increases fines for violations of the law from $2,500 to $10,000 per violation, per animal, per day. Additionally, the law mandates a study of class B dealers by the National Institutes of Health and instructs the USDA to report the study findings to the House and Senate agriculture committees.

Convention reflects changes

Meet the Experts, CE Pathways new features this year

By Malinda Larkin

AVMA Convention 2016, held Aug. 5–9, came and went, and from it conventiongoers walked away with continuing education they can apply at work, better connections with those in the profession, and memories from San Antonio.

New this year was the Meet the Experts roundtable, held Aug. 5. It had 40 discussions in just 20 minutes per round. Attendees could choose three sessions and network with featured speakers. Among them were Dr. Gregory Ogilvie with California Veterinary Specialists, who presented information on advances in cancer immunotherapy; PetEd's Kara Burns, who gave a talk on nutrition; and the University of Pennsylvania's Shelley Rankin, PhD, who addressed “Superbugs and Superdrugs.”

Dr. Molly McAllister, chair of the Convention Education Program Committee, said the committee wanted to make the convention more interactive. What better way than allowing attendees a chance to have one-on-one time with speakers they've heard but maybe never spoken with. Dr. McAllister said the committee hopes to expand the event next year.

“We are trying to look at the changing needs of the profession. We've done things for the same way for a long time, but we are not the same profession we were 20 years ago. We're trying things out to make a more applicable CE experience,” she said. “This year, we tried to make convention more of an educational program for someone looking to achieve a particular goal rather than having to pick out lectures one at a time.”

One way was by organizing sessions into CE Pathways: Advanced/Master Classes, Branch Your Practice into New Markets, Diseases in Large/Production Animals, Diversity & Inclusion, Students & Early Career, and Wellness. The educational tracks were designed to group CE sessions by various topic and interest areas.

Newly developed practice profitability core sessions were organized by the AVMA Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee. A pilot group comprising teams of owners and managers from 57 practices as well as about 40 conventiongoers completed 16 hours of CE on four topics as part of the Practice Management Section.

The program was for practices trying to manage economic stability, understand basic financial diagnostics, and grow revenues—without raising prices—by using data and market information. Presentations comprised proprietary content and training from core partners VMG (finance), Banfield Pet Hospital (workplace culture in operations), and Henry Schein Animal Health (preventive care strategies). The AVMA provided information on four areas of work within its Veterinary Economics Division, from market share to employee compensation.

VetPartners joined the effort and will provide short-term follow-up with each practice. Twenty-two consultants have signed on to work with up to three practices each in the coming months, and the AVMA will gather outcomes information from these practices on metrics discussed during the core sessions. Approximately 40 practices are on a waiting list for another series of sessions, tentatively scheduled for March 2017, according to Jodie Taggett, AVMA director of partnerships and program development.

Hot Topic Sessions included genetic testing, post-traumatic stress in military dogs, the health of the veterinary profession, and one health, emerging diseases, and the profession's role.

A focus at convention was wellness. In addition to CE sessions, the topic came up during the Keynote Luncheon on Aug. 6 featuring Dan Siegel, MD, an expert on interpersonal neurobiology. He gave the talk “How Understanding the Mind and Cultivating Mindsight Supports Your Well-Being.” Afterward, he hosted a session titled “Cultivating Resilience and a Healthy Mind”; both were sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition. Dr. Siegel described how the mind is more than the brain, and having a greater understanding of its workings has useful clinical and personal implications.

New in the exhibit hall was AVMA Vet Clinic Live, a simulated veterinary clinic advertising new products and services, with product demonstrations and live scenarios.

The convention app guided attendees throughout convention, whether to find their next session or locate a booth in the exhibit hall. Participants in the new VetAdventure game completed tasks to earn badges entitling them to prizes. Tasks included checking in at CE sessions and with exhibitors and finding hidden logos in the AVMA Convention 2016 Daily News.

AVMA Convention 2017 will be July 21–25 in Indianapolis. Dr. McAllister said the committee plans to debut poster sessions to give veterinarians and students an opportunity to highlight research or new topics of knowledge. Abstracts for posters or CE sessions can be submitted at http://jav.ma/conventionabstracts.

New AVMA president commits to member wellness

Meyer strikes personal note in HOD address

Story and photos by R. Scott Nolen

Dr. Tom Meyer, the 2016–2017 AVMA president, says his family is experiencing the health troubles that come with age. Rather than despair, he and his wife, Jean, also a veterinarian, have chosen to embrace the challenges, seeing each day as filled with opportunity and hope, and strengthened by one another and their children.

“It is this type of strength and support that so many of our colleagues need, and I submit to you today that I will work as AVMA president to help ensure that the AVMA continues to be a participant in helping improve the wellness and well-being of our colleagues and friends. It is part of our duty as both association leaders and compassionate caregivers. And it is something I care deeply about,” Dr. Meyer said.

The mixed animal practice owner from Vancouver, Washington, was speaking about his agenda at the regular annual session of the Association's House of Delegates Aug. 5 in San Antonio. Dr. Meyer succeeded Dr. Joe Kinnarney as AVMA president Aug. 9 at the close of AVMA Convention 2016.

Two years ago, when Dr. Meyer began campaigning for AVMA president-elect, he described the Association as a linchpin holding together a diverse and complex profession. In his Aug. 5 speech, he stated, “As president, my focus is on navigating the future and why it's important to do so with purpose and certainty so the AVMA continues to be that linchpin.”

In his remarks Dr. Meyer noted how the AVMA, through its Veterinary Economics Division, is generating an unprecedented amount of data on the veterinary profession. That work needs to continue, he said, as the AVMA identifies better ways of interpreting and using that information for the benefit of veterinarians.

The AVMA also needs to continue the momentum toward improving the economic picture for new veterinarians, particularly with respect to reducing veterinary educational debt, according to Dr. Meyer. The Economics of Veterinary Medical Education Summit (aka Fix the Debt summit) this past April was an important milestone for identifying solutions to help ease the financial burdens on veterinary students and recent graduates, he said.

Dr. Meyer said the AVMA is making strides in the area of personal wellness, with a new focus on and commitment of resources to improving wellness among veterinary colleagues and students. He referenced the Association's first wellness roundtable, held in March. “The roundtable helped us set the stage for continuing efforts that will address the topics of wellness and well-being in the profession, and I look forward to leading the AVMA in these efforts,” he said.


Dr. Tom Meyer addresses the AVMA House of Delegates regarding his vision as Association president.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

AVMA members are the lifeblood of the organization, requiring their participation for the Association to thrive, Dr. Meyer explained, adding that the Association must be flexible to remain relevant to and trusted by members.

Dr. Meyer said the AVMA must continue exploring new and effective channels of communication while at the same time informing members and the public about the AVMA's ongoing work in areas such as advocacy, veterinary college accreditation, economics, and member services.

“It is my hope that all veterinarians recognize the value they contribute as AVMA members, and that we as an association work diligently to provide our members with the services, products, and support they need,” Dr. Meyer said.

For the AVMA to achieve its goals of protecting, promoting, and advancing both veterinarians and the profession, it is important that Association leaders—the House of Delegates, Board of Directors, councils, and committees—work together as a team, according to Dr. Meyer. “Together, we can more effectively advance our shared interests, values, and goals,” he noted.

Dr. Meyer expressed his hope that the profession will continue to attract the best and brightest and to provide them with the opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals, both professionally and economically. Additionally, he hopes the veterinary profession will preserve the public trust while continuing to educate the public about veterinary medicine's contributions to the well-being of animals and people.

He concluded by pledging to focus his presidency on being inclusive and promoting the participation of a diverse membership as the AVMA addresses the challenges facing the profession. “Whether it is wellness, economics, one health, or member services,” Dr. Meyer said, “it is essential that the AVMA embrace our membership and unify our efforts to advocate for the robust future of veterinary medicine.”

Topper and Pritt elected, de Jong runs for president

Story and photos by R. Scott Nolen


Dr. Michael Topper

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706


Dr. Stacy Pritt

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706


Dr. John de Jong

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

The AVMA House of Delegates elected Dr. Michael Topper as 2016–2017 AVMA president-elect and Dr. Stacy Pritt as 2016–2018 AVMA vice president Aug. 5 during the HOD's regular annual session in San Antonio.

At the Candidates’ Introductory Breakfast earlier that day, former AVMA Board of Directors chair Dr. John de Jong of Weston, Massachusetts, announced he is running for 2017–2018 AVMA president-elect.

Dr. Topper of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, is a 1980 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He is Pennsylvania's delegate to the HOD and is a past chair of the AVMA House Advisory Committee. The U. S. Army Veterinary Corps veteran is currently director of clinical pathology for Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, Pennsylvania. Dr. Topper previously oversaw the Division of Pathology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He will succeed Dr. Tom Meyer as AVMA president next summer.

As vice president, Dr. Pritt will spend the next two years as the AVMA's liaison to the Student AVMA and student chapters and as a voting member of the AVMA Board of Directors.

Dr. Pritt is director of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Additionally, she is president of the Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative and a member of the AVMA Political Action Committee Board.

A small animal practitioner, Dr. de Jong co-owns Newton Animal Hospital with his wife, Carole. The 1985 graduate of Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine served 12 years in the HOD and in 2010 was elected to represent AVMA members in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont on the AVMA Board. Dr. de Jong recently completed his six-year Board tenure after having spent his final year as chair.

Helfat elected AVMA Board chair, Whitehair vice chair

The AVMA Board of Directors elected Dr. Mark Helfat of Lumberton, New Jersey, Board chair and Dr. Michael Whitehair of Abilene, Kansas, vice chair while meeting Aug. 9 in San Antonio.

In 2011, Dr. Helfat was elected to a six-year Board term as the representative for AVMA members in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. For the past year, the 1977 graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has served as vice chair of the Board.

Dr. Helfat is a practice owner and works full time at the Larchmont Animal Hospital in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, that he established in 1995. He is a former president of the New Jersey VMA and represented his state in the AVMA House of Delegates from 2002 until his election to the Board.

As a member of the HOD, Dr. Helfat chaired the House Advisory Committee, participated in the 2009 AVMA Bylaws revision, and aided in updating the House of Delegates Manual. He has also chaired each of the seven HOD reference committees. Highlights from Dr. Helfat's time on the Board have included chairing the Board's Bylaws and Audit committees, serving as Board liaison to the AVMA Governance Performance Review Committee, and currently serving as chair-elect of the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee.


Dr. Mark Helfat

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706


Dr. Michael Whitehair

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Dr. Whitehair is also an HOD alumnus, having served in the House from 1997–2011 when he was elected to the Board to represent AVMA members in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah. The former HAC chair oversaw the selection committees that recommended Dr. Ron DeHaven in 2007 and Dr. Janet Donlin this year for the office of AVMA executive vice president.

A 1974 graduate of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Whitehair is a partner in the Abilene Animal Hospital, P. A. His clinical interests include beef cattle, feedlot operations, and equine medicine.

Treasurer: Nonfinancial resources need bolstering

By Susan C. Kahler

After presenting financials underscoring the Association's fiscal strength, AVMA Treasurer Barbara A. Schmidt told the House of Delegates Aug. 5 during its regular annual session, “As you have seen, our financial resources at AVMA are strong. It is our human resources, our capacity, and our capability or skill sets as well as our infrastructure that are limiting.”

Bolstering those resources is an important part of building a strategy-focused AVMA that will meet the profession's challenges in today's competitive environment, she said. With two years spent making the plan, now it is time to “work the plan,” she said, adding, “We now have a sustainable and repeatable process to tie finances with strategy at AVMA.”

To maximize member value, Dr. Schmidt said the AVMA must increase capacity by focusing on its strengths, prioritizing member needs, and tracking performance and impact. Instead of addressing lots of items, the focus should be on key items.

AVMA is in a period of transformation, the treasurer said. The staff is working as a team to prioritize members’ needs and identify projects and programs with the greatest impact.

“Strategy is at least as much about what an organization does not do as it is about what it does,” she said.

Strong financial resources will support the AVMA in implementing this strategic approach of growing member value across all segments of the profession. For example, the treasurer reported that at year-end 2015, total assets exceeded $65.8 million, and liabilities were just over $26 million. Net revenue from operations was just over $2.5 million. After expenses approved from reserves, net income over expenses was just over $882,000.


Dr. Barbara A. Schmidt

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

From a total dollar standpoint, the AVMA has grown its reserves by nearly $17.8 million since 2008.

The 2016 annual operating budget depicts a balanced budget, with revenues just over $35.6 million and expenses just over $35.5 million.

McClellan receives Meritorious Service Award

The AVMA has presented the AVMA Meritorious Service Award to Dr. Roger O. McClellan, an international authority in comparative medicine, aerosol science, inhalation toxicology, and analysis of human health risks. Dr. McClellan received the award during the AVMA Convention 2016 Keynote Luncheon on Aug. 6.

The Meritorious Service Award is for a veterinarian who has brought honor and distinction to the veterinary profession through personal, professional, or community service activities. Dr. McClellan was recognized for providing exemplary advisory service to federal agencies on environmental and occupational health issues, especially those concerning air quality.

“Dr. McClellan has set the gold standard for his carefully designed research in toxicology and human health risk analysis,” said Dr. Joe Kinnarney, 2015–2016 AVMA president, in an announcement about the award. “His work has improved our understanding and assessment of the adverse health effects of environmental and occupational exposure to radiation and chemicals, and has had considerable influence on regulatory decisions and control measures.”

Dr. McClellan (Washington State ‘60) has had a career as a scientist, mentor, manager of multidisciplinary research organizations, and scientific adviser. A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and the American Board of Toxicology, he led the Lovelace Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute in New Mexico and the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology in North Carolina. He has served as an adjunct professor at eight universities, including Duke University Medical Center, where he is currently consulting professor in community and family medicine, and the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, where he is clinical professor of toxicology.


Dr. Roger O. McClellan

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Dr. McClellan has held leadership roles in professional organizations, frequently serves as an author and editor, and has presented at national and international forums regarding the application of science in assessing human health risks of technological developments. He has served on more than 100 national and international committees, translating scientific evidence on environmental and occupational health issues into public policy. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1990.

Education council schedules site visits

The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to two schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2016.

A comprehensive site visit is planned for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Dec. 4–8. A consultative site visit is scheduled for the University of Cambridge Department of Veterinary Medicine in the U.K., Nov. 6–10.

The council welcomes written comments on these plans or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. Karen Martens Brandt, Director, Education and Research Division, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173.

Comments must be signed by the person submitting them to be considered.

AVMA broadens candidate pool for executives

Also adds treasurer to Board of Directors, adjusts free-roaming owned cat policy

By Greg Cima

A nonveterinarian could become the AVMA's CEO or second in command, provided the other of those positions is filled by a veterinarian.

The AVMA House of Delegates voted in August to change the Association's bylaws to allow one of the top two positions—executive vice president or assistant executive vice president—to be filled by a nonveterinarian. The HOD also voted to make the treasurer a nonvoting member of the Board of Directors, added information to a policy on free-roaming owned cats, and encouraged education on financial literacy for veterinary students and veterinary program applicants.

The delegates held their regular annual session Aug. 4–5 in San Antonio, just ahead of AVMA Convention 2016 in the same city.

Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, outgoing AVMA president, said veterinarians would remain preferred candidates for the AVMA's top staff jobs, and the bylaw change regarding those top jobs is intended only to give future selection committees and boards of directors flexibility in choosing candidates.

The issue arose with the then-pending retirement of Dr. Ron DeHaven, the AVMA's CEO of nine years. Dr. Link Welborn, delegate for the American Animal Hospital Association, said during the HOD session that the AVMA was fortunate the candidate pool for a successor was robust in quality, although not in quantity. He advocated trusting Board members to make good decisions when selecting future executives.

Delegates debated whether the CEO's work as a public figure justifies requiring that a veterinarian fill that role as well as deliberated over whether the AVMA's primary representative to the public and other organizations is the staff CEO or the Association president. Some delegates expressed more comfort in having a nonveterinarian as the assistant executive when the job becomes available than in having a nonveterinarian as CEO.

Dr. Kinnarney said finding a veterinarian qualified to run the organization could become more difficult as the AVMA increases in size and complexity. He noted that the AVMA is likely to exceed 100,000 members and 200 staff members within the next decade.

“We want absolutely the best CEO we can have for this organization,” he said.

The delegates also added the AVMA treasurer to the Board of Directors as a nonvoting member. Dr. Timothy Montgomery, delegate from Georgia, indicated in an HOD reference committee meeting prior to the vote that, because the treasurer receives a stipend, the change would avoid the possibility that the treasurer would become classified as an AVMA employee. Dr. John de Jong, outgoing chair of the AVMA Board of Directors, said in committee that the position would remain nonvoting because it is filled by Board appointment. He added that the treasurer would have a conflict if directed to guard Association purse strings while voting on financial matters.


Dr. Link Welborn, AAHA delegate (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

In another vote, the delegates added information to the AVMA's policy on free-roaming owned cats, which now includes statements on confinement, harm to wildlife species, identification used to return lost cats to their owners, and the potential that allowing cats to roam would violate local laws.

The House also voted to adopt a resolution requesting that the AVMA Council on Education support a standard on financial literacy. Dr. Karen Martens Brandt, director of the AVMA Education and Research Division and staff consultant to the COE, said the following day that the council had already formed a working group intended to bring recommendations to the COE for consideration at its September meeting.

Pressing topics addressed by HOD

By Malinda Larkin

The AVMA House of Delegates held its first Veterinary Issues Forum during its regular annual session Aug. 4 in San Antonio. The forum allowed time for open discussion of issues brought forth by the delegates after listening to their constituents. Three issues were identified ahead of time for discussion: cyberbullying, educational debt, and AVMA efforts to support large animal practitioners.

Dr. Mark Cox, delegate from Texas, cited an AVMA survey conducted in December 2014 that found 1 in 5 veterinarians had been a victim of cyberbullying. Dr. Frederick Baum, delegate from Vermont, said prevention “is worth everything,” but once cyberbullying happens, keeping responses fact based and unemotional goes a long way toward resolving problems. Cyberbullying resources exist to help practitioners, including those provided by the AVMA (http://jav.ma/2aTxu1E) and the American Bar Association (http://jav.ma/2aSYjT1).

Regarding educational debt, Matt Holland, Student AVMA president, informed delegates that up to 3 1/2 times as much money from students’ loans goes to tuition as to living costs, citing a paper by Bridgette Bain, PhD, a statistical data analyst in the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division, titled “Are veterinary students accumulating unreasonable amounts of debt?” (J Am Vet Med 2016;249:285–288). “Sure, we can be frugal with rent, but these strategies can't overcome the overwhelming burden we shoulder,” Holland said.

Dr. James McDonald, delegate from Arizona, suggested a funding mechanism to help first- and second-year students cover loan points and fees, potentially as a SAVMA member benefit.

As for AVMA efforts to support large animal practitioners, delegates had a number of opinions and suggestions. This cohort of veterinarians comprises 11.8 percent of AVMA members. Dr. Gatz Riddell, alternate delegate from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, said large animal veterinarians may not be large in number, but they have a huge societal impact, especially with regard to antimicrobial resistance and food safety.

Dr. Joan Bowen, delegate from the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, would like to see the AVMA help more states develop reciprocity agreements. She said this would greatly aid veterinarians practicing along state lines who issue health certificates; in addition to a state license, practitioners must be accredited by the Department of Agriculture in each state they issue health certificates. HOD members also expressed the desire for more large animal interactive labs at the AVMA Convention.


Dr. Gatz Riddell, alternate delegate from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, said large animal veterinarians may not be large in number, but they have a huge societal impact, especially with regard to antimicrobial resistance and food safety. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Following the forum, HOD members attended reference committees, then reconvened Aug. 5 and took the following actions that were approved by the full House:

  • • Recommended that the AVMA Board of Directors elevate cyberbullying as a priority, with emphasis on continuing education, member awareness, crisis management, and collaboration with AVMA PLIT on reputation management tools.

  • • Recommended that the Board provide a progress report at the 2017 HOD winter session in January on the Economics of Veterinary Medical Education Summit (aka, Fix the Debt summit), held in April at Michigan State. The House also urged all HOD members to spread the information that came from the summit to colleagues and constituents to raise awareness of the educational debt issue.

  • • Recommended that the Board consider a few items: make it a priority to update information about large animal medicine on the AVMA website and ensure that the information is accurate, consider revising the Veterinary Oath to include a reference to agriculture or livestock, provide an HOD reference committee with historic information regarding convention programs such as number of CE hours for each species, and make available to AVMA members the expertise of all AVMA staff at the assistant director level and above.

Association executives announce changes

At its annual membership meeting Aug. 6 in San Antonio during AVMA Convention 2016, the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives announced several changes that reflect the organization's evolution.

First, a new name and logo were unveiled by incoming President Candace Joy, executive director of the Washington State VMA. The new name is Veterinary Medical Association Executives, or VMAE. Joy said the rebranding effort was undertaken to simplify reference to the organization and reflect its growing activity and visibility. She said, “These days, VMAE is represented at many tables throughout the profession and industry—and our new name and logo more effectively represent VMAE as the strategic, professional, and future-focused organization it has become.”

Next, VMAE outgoing President Adrian Hochstadt, who serves as AVMA deputy CEO, announced the appointment of longtime Colorado VMA Executive Director Ralph Johnson as VMAE's first CEO. Johnson will serve as CEO through a VMAE contract with the North American Veterinary Community Industry Services division for association management services. Serving as CEO will be his primary assignment, but he will also do some special project work for the NAVC. Johnson will continue to serve the Colorado VMA while a new executive director is transitioned into the position.

Johnson commented, “VMAE members bring the ground-level perspective of VMAs into organizations such as Partners for Healthy Pets, the CATalyst Council, the Pet Nutrition Alliance, and more. Recognition is growing for the contributions VMA executives make as thought leaders, influencers, and strategic partners.”


Ralph Johnson and Sophie (Photo by Carlos Cobos)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Finally, VMAE announced a joint initiative with Partners for Healthy Pets, through which participating VMAs will conduct a campaign to highlight forward booking of appointments in veterinary practices. Most state VMAs have already become associate members of PHP, but Johnson said the joint campaign has chosen forward booking as its focal point among the PHP tools. He said, “Through collective action, we are convinced we can move the needle on an important behavior—resulting in healthier patients and healthier practices.”

The votes are in

In San Antonio, the House of Delegates filled vacancies on AVMA councils and the House Advisory Committee. The results are as follows.

Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents

Dr. Alice Jeromin, Hinckley, Ohio, representing members at large; Dr. Laurel Gershwin, Davis, California, representing immunology; Dr. Brad Tanner, Lexington, Kentucky, representing private clinical practice, predominantly equine; and Dr. Fred Gingrich, Ashland, Ohio, representing private clinical practice, predominantly food animal

Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Elizabeth Wagstrom, Des Moines, Iowa, representing members at large; and Dr. Karen Ehnert, Los Angeles, representing public health agencies or uniformed services

Judicial Council

Dr. Stephen Barghusen, Bloomington, Minnesota, representing members at large

Council on Veterinary Service

Dr. Christopher Gargamelli, Durham, Connecticut, representing academic clinical science; Dr. Stanley Robertson, Macon, Mississippi, representing members at large; and Dr. Jennifer Quammen, Butler, Kentucky, representing recent graduates or emerging leaders

Council on Research

Dr. Sasha Caudle, Placentia, California, representing private clinical practice; and Drs. Daniel Grooms, Williamston, Michigan, and John Middleton, Columbia, Missouri, representing veterinary medical research

House Advisory Committee

Drs. Michael Ames, Douglas, Arizona; Jon Pennell, Las Vegas; and David Ylander, Alliance, Nebraska, each representing members at large

Board makes appointments

The AVMA Board of Directors, meeting Aug. 3 in San Antonio, named the following individuals to the entities indicated, representing the designated areas. The duration of each term varies.

Animal Welfare Committee

Association of Avian Veterinarians—Dr. Elizabeth Mackey, Watkinsville, Georgia; American Association of Bovine Practitioners—Dr. Christopher Ashworth, Greenwood, Arkansas; AABP alternate—Dr. Johann Coetzee, Cambridge, Iowa; American Association of Feline Practitioners—Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, Chico, California; American Association of Swine Veterinarians alternate—Dr. Angela Baysinger, Bruning, Nebraska; Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges—Dr. Emily McCobb, North Grafton, Massachusetts; AAVMC alternate—Kathryn Proudfoot, Columbus, Ohio

Legislative Advisory Committee

American Association of Bovine Practitioners alternate—Dr. Michael Karle, Orland, California; Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges—Dr. Calvin Johnson, Auburn, Alabama; AAVMC alternate—Dr. Jason Johnson, Ewing, Virginia

Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee

American Association of Bovine Practitioners alternate—Dr. Jonathan Garber, Seymour, Wisconsin

Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee

State or federal regulatory veterinary medicine—Dr. Katherine Haman, Olympia, Washington; American Association of Fish Veterinarians—Dr. Myron Kebus, Madison, Wisconsin

Committee on International Veterinary Affairs

Board of directors—Dr. Jose Arce, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates

At large—Dr. Susan Gogolski, San Antonio

Food Safety Advisory Committee

American Association of Bovine Practitioners alternate—Dr. Carla Huston, Mississippi State, Mississippi

Political Action Committee Board

At large—Dr. Gary Bullard, Austell, Georgia

Liaison to the One Health Commission board of directors

AVMA Board of Directors—Dr. Joann Lindenmayer, Uxbridge, Massachusetts

Education council members selected

Three positions became open for appointment on the AVMA Council on Education when the 2016–2017 Association year began Aug. 5, at the close of the House of Delegates regular annual session.

The AVMA Council on Education Selection Committee appointed Dr. James Hoffman, Searcy, Arkansas, to a six-year term representing private mixed clinical practice.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges appointed Dr. Trevor Ames, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, to a three-year term representing the AAVMC. The AAVMC COE Selection Committee appointed Dr. Cate Dewey, University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College, to a six-year term representing postgraduate education.

The COE is expected to fill an open position when it meets in September.

The current process for appointing COE members was adopted in July 2013. The AVMA and AAVMC developed separate selection committees that choose eight and seven COE members, respectively. The COE itself elects the three public members of the council, the Canadian VMA appoints the Canadian representative, and the AAVMC appoints a veterinarian. Formerly, the AVMA House of Delegates elected 15 of the council's 20 members.

Army Veterinary Corps centennial statue dedicated

Story and photos by R. Scott Nolen

Earlier this year, on June 3, the Army Veterinary Corps celebrated its centennial by unveiling a bronze statue at the U. S. Army Medical Department Museum at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Veterinary Corps members, including corps chief Brig. Gen. Erik Torring III, and several AVMA leaders attended an Aug. 6 ceremony at the museum, during which the statue was formally dedicated.

Created by local artist Donna Dobberfuhl and paid for by the AVMA, the statue depicts four Army veterinarians throughout the Veterinary Corps’ history, from its creation in 1916 to the present day. A veterinarian in a World War I Army uniform stands with a horse. To their left, a wounded military dog lying on a stretcher is treated by a modern-day veterinarian as the dog's handler comforts the animal. At the back, a veterinarian from the Cold War era inspects crates of military rations. To that figure's left, a female veterinarian from the time of the Vietnam War sits at a field desk, peering through a microscope at a slide.

“The Army Veterinary Corps has a long history we can all be proud of,” said Dr. Joe Kinnarney, the AVMA president at the time of the dedication. “You, and those who have preceded you in service, have played an extremely important role in protecting our country against bioterrorism and other threats.

“You have ensured the safety of the food that our armed forces personnel rely on. You have helped us make great strides in biomedical research and development. And of course, we can't overlook the fact that you do a stellar job providing care to working animals and the pets owned by service members.”


Current and former Army Veterinary Corps chiefs: Drs. Michael Cates (2004–2008), Paul Barrows (1995–1999), Erik Torring III (2015-present), Clifford Johnson (1991–1995), Charles Elia (1972–1976), and John Poppe (2011–2015)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

AVMA, AVMF create scholarship

Dr. Kinnarney said the AVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation are commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the Veterinary Corps by establishing a scholarship for U. S. military veterans pursuing a veterinary education. Although financial support for veterans pursuing undergraduate degrees is readily available, scholarships for veterans in postgraduate education are very limited, particularly for veterinary medicine.

Several recognition opportunities and benefits are available respective to the level of donation to the AVMA/AVMF Military Veteran Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine, including a hand-crafted bronze maquette, a miniature version of the statue. For more information, contact Jodie Taggett, AVMA director of partnerships and program development, at jtaggett@avma.org.

Research symposium inspires with one-health success stories

Veterinary Scholars Program provides opportunities to over 470 student investigators

By Malinda Larkin


The 2016 Merial–National Institutes of Health National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, which took place July 28–31 at The Ohio State University, had over 470 veterinary students present the results of their summer research project. Here, Thisuri Eagalle (left), a student at the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College, presents her poster “Determination of causes of mortality in captive psittacines submitted to the Ontario Veterinary College.” (Photos courtesy of Merial)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

The importance of veterinary biomedical research was fully evident at the 2016 Merial–National Institutes of Health National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, which took place July 28–31 at The Ohio State University. This year's theme, “Transdisciplinary Approaches to Health and Wellness,” highlighted a number of one-health research topics, including infectious diseases, translational oncology, and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Ab Osterhaus, a professor of virology at Erasmus University and Utrecht University, both in the Netherlands, gave the keynote presentation, “Combatting Emerging Viruses: One Health Approach.” A leading authority on zoonotic diseases, Dr. Osterhaus and his team at the Erasmus University Medical Center Viroscience Laboratory reacted quickly after the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak of 2003 when—in a collaborative effort with the World Health Organization—they determined that a coronavirus was the causative agent. Earlier, in 1997, Dr. Osterhaus and his team found that the H5N1 avian influenza virus could be transmitted to humans.


Dr. Ab Osterhaus, a leading authority on zoonotic diseases, gave the symposium's keynote presentation, “Combatting Emerging Viruses: One Health Approach.”

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706


Dr. James Cook, director of the Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory at the University of Missouri, discussed what he's learned in animals regarding resurfacing cartilage in joints and applying that knowledge to people.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Over the course of his career, Dr. Osterhaus and his team have identified around 20 new viruses in humans and other animals, defined the pathogenesis of major human and animal virus infections, and developed novel intervention strategies.

After handing over the chairmanship of the Viroscience Laboratory in 2014, he recently helped establish the Netherlands Centre for One Health in Utrecht and the Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses in Hannover, Germany. He is also chair of the One Health Platform.

Dr. Osterhaus emphasized in his talk that he firmly believes scientists have a role to play in translating their knowledge for the benefit and protection of society.

That message continued in other talks by researchers who discussed their study findings that not only have direct implications for animals but also in the human medical field.

Dr. Cheryl London's talk, “Leveraging Comparative Oncology to Maximize Translational Outcomes,” touched on her research in the field of canine oncology, and how cancer research in dogs is more useful than in mice when adapting cancer treatments to humans. Dr. London is director of The Ohio State veterinary college's clinical trials office as well as director of translational therapeutics at the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at the OSU College of Medicine. She is also a research professor at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. James Cook discussed what he's learned in animals regarding resurfacing cartilage in joints and applying that knowledge to people. He is founder and director of the Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory at the University of Missouri, a multidisciplinary team of physicians, veterinarians, engineers, and basic scientists dedicated to translational orthopedic research.

Creating future investigators

More than 570 veterinary researchers and students attended the symposium. Attendees represented veterinary schools in the U. S., Canada, France, and the Netherlands.

Since 1989, Merial has funded the Veterinary Scholars Program to provide an opportunity for first- and second-year veterinary students to participate in a biomedical research project in a laboratory or clinical setting for eight to 12 weeks during the summer.

Seminars and discussion groups on careers in science are part of the experience, which culminates with the symposium. The program works with the participating veterinary schools, Merial, the NIH, the AVMA, and several other institutions to support a talented pool of veterinary students who are interested in biomedical research and comparative medicine. This year, over 470 veterinary students presented the results of their summer research project.

Dr. Ed Murphey, an assistant director in the AVMA Education and Research Division, said that, while the symposium is the most visible part, “The true contribution is finding slots for all of those students to participate in research projects under the mentorship of experienced investigators and get a feel for it to determine whether they are interested. At the very least, they learn the value of research to the veterinary profession and hopefully will be supportive of it, whether they participate in research later or not.”

Data collected by Merial indicate that a sizable number of past program participants have gone on to become investigators.


Dr. Katti Horng (right), a DVM-degree and doctoral student at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, presents her research project, “Beneficial effects of probiotic microbes on inflamed gut mucosa in the rhesus macaque model of HIV infection.”

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Nearly half, or 47 percent, of Veterinary Scholars Program participants from 2000–2013 went into advanced education as their first position after earning their DVM degree, while 45.4 percent went into private practice. From that same cohort, 37.2 percent are currently in academia or research, and 50 percent are in private practice. Comparatively, U. S. veterinary positions among employed veterinarians show that 61 percent are in private practice, and only 6 percent are in academia or research, according to AVMA market research statistics.

“You could say that there might be selection bias because students who chose to participate might have been more predisposed to a career in research, anyway. Despite that, I think it demonstrates it's money and time and effort well spent on everyone's part. The program exposes students who might not have considered a career involving research, and nurtures that interest in those students who might have considered it, anyway,” Dr. Murphey said.

Increasing awareness

Next year's symposium will be held at the NIH campus in Washington, D. C., for the second time in the program's history. Dr. Murphey hopes it will promote greater awareness among veterinary students of the biomedical research opportunities out there for them through the NIH. For example, the NIH has its Medical Research Scholars Program. It is a comprehensive, yearlong research enrichment program designed for U. S. citizens and permanent residents currently enrolled in a medical, dental, or veterinary program who have completed their core clinical rotations. On the main NIH campus or nearby NIH facilities, student scholars engage in a closely mentored basic, clinical, or translational research project that matches their research interests and career goals. The 2017–2018 program application will open Oct. 1. For more information, visit www.cc.nih.gov/training/mrsp.

Dr. Murphey said the exposure also works the other way around.

“The symposium could provide visibility for veterinary medicine at the NIH. They can see we're engaged in research of our own; see the quantity and quality of it and application of it, for human medicine, too. Hopefully, there will be good synergy for interaction between veterinary medicine and human medicine,” he said.

The AVMA and AVMF also presented awards for excellence in research (see page 727) and to student investigators for their summer research projects (see page 728).

Researchers recognized for excellence in orthopedics, nutrition

During the 2016 Merial–National Institutes of Health Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held July 28–31 at The Ohio State University, the AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation presented awards to two individuals for their efforts in advancing veterinary research.

AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award

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

Dr. Susan M. Stover

Dr. Stover (Washington State ′76) is a professor of veterinary anatomy and director of the J. D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Stover completed an internship and residency in equine surgery at UC-Davis. After working in private practice, she returned to UC-Davis, starting out as a lecturer in equine surgery before earning a doctorate in comparative pathology. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Her career research record spans many aspects of comparative orthopedics, with a primary focus on bone development and remodeling, the response of bone tissue to exercise, and the pathogenesis of fractures and ligament injury. Complementing those are studies on the biomechanics of fractures and fracture fixation techniques in horses and dogs, development of novel fracture repair techniques, new approaches to diagnostic regional anesthesia in horses, and evaluation of prosthetic joints in dogs.

Dr. John R. Pascoe, executive associate dean at UC-Davis’ veterinary school and nominator for her award, wrote: “Catastrophic fractures in racing horses continue to be a major welfare issue, receiving extensive, often negative, publicity. Without equivocation, Dr. Susan Stover has had a transformative effect on our understanding of the pathophysiology of catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in performance horses. Gone are the days when racetrack breakdowns could be dismissed as the horse simply ‘took a bad step.’ Indeed, her research is far reaching in impact, nationally and internationally, has influenced decisions on approaches to training and rehabilitation, horseshoeing (racing plates), track surface types and preparation, diagnostic approaches, and fracture repair techniques.”


Dr. Susan M. Stover

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

AVMF/Winn Excellence in Feline Research Award

This award honors a candidate's contribution to advancing feline health through research.

Dr. Andrea J. Fascetti

Dr. Fascetti (Pennsylvania ′91) is a professor of nutrition at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Fascetti received a doctorate in nutrition from UC-Davis in 1999 after joining the university five years earlier as an adjunct instructor. She is now the service chief for the Nutrition Support Service in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital as well as the scientific director of the Feline Nutrition and Pet Care Center, the Feline Research Laboratory, and the Amino Acid Laboratory. In addition, Dr. Fascetti is a diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.

Her current research interests are trace mineral and amino acid metabolism, obesity, carnivore nutrition, nutritional idiosyncrasies of cats, improvement of pet foods, and clinical nutrition. She is currently on sabbatical in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Fascetti, during her presentation at the Veterinary Scholars Symposium, described her initial introduction to the world of research as a work-study student cleaning dog kennels in the University of Pennsylvania Genetics Laboratory. She counseled the students in the audience to not live in fear of failure or worry about what to study—she has more research questions now to pursue than she has time to perform.


Dr. Andrea J. Fascetti

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Student investigators acknowledged for research

The 2016 Merial–National Institutes of Health National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held July 28–31 at The Ohio State University, provided a forum to honor outstanding research performed by veterinary and post-DVM–degree students.

Winners of the 2016 Young Investigator Award, co-sponsored by the AVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, were announced during the weekend. The Young Investigator Award is given to graduate veterinarians pursuing advanced research training through doctoral or postdoctoral programs. From 36 applicants, the top five finalists were selected by a panel of researchers at the host school and presented their research at the symposium. They are as follows:

  • • Dr. Elshafa Ahmed of The Ohio State University with “Development of a genetic risk profile for Epstein-Barr virus–associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease.”

  • • Dr. Megan C. Niederwerder of Kansas State University with “Microbiome associations in pigs with the best and worst clinical outcomes following coinfection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2).”

  • • Dr. Yung-Yi Mosley of Purdue University with “Unraveling the genetic basis of the immune response to pertussis vaccination.”

  • • Dr. Maciej Parys of Michigan State University with “Characterization of immunomodulatory properties of feline mesenchymal stem cells.”

  • • Dr. Nora Springer of Cornell University with “Biomaterial composition influences in vitro macrophage behavior.”

At the symposium, the five finalists were judged by a panel of three scientists selected by the chair of the AVMA Council on Research, Dr. Harm Hogenesch. Dr. Parys was the overall top candidate and was awarded a $2, 500 honorarium. Dr. Springer placed second and received $1, 000; Dr. Ahmed placed third and received $500.

In addition, five students were funded by the AVMA/AVMF Second Opportunity Summer Scholars Award and presented the results of their research. The following students each received $5, 000 for the research scholarship and a $1, 000 travel stipend:

  • • Sarah Linn of The Ohio State University with “Experimental modeling of the nonspecific protective effects with measles virus vaccination.”

  • • Jordan Ford of Cornell University with “Parvovirus detection by PCR and ISH is associated with myocarditis and cardiomyopathy in young dogs.”

  • • Sarah Chung of Texas A&M University with “Effect of FABP1/SCP-2/SCP-X gene ablation (TKO) on the endocannabinoid system in mice.”

  • • Kimberly Young of North Carolina State University with “Phenotypic evaluation of multicopy single-stranded DNA mutants to determine functional regions.”

  • • Mitch Caudill of Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine with “The proline utilization system of Brucella abortus is required for virulent infection.”


Finalists for the 2016 Young Investigator Award, co-sponsored by the AVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, were (from left) Drs. Maciej Parys, Elshafa Ahmed, Nora Springer, Yung-Yi Mosley, and Megan C. Niederwerder. Dr. Parys took first place, Dr. Springer placed second, and Dr. Ahmed placed third.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

The 2016 Merial Veterinary Scholar Research Award went to Laura LoBuglio (Minnesota ‘18) for her research project “Identification and inhibition of oxidative stressed-induced apoptosis pathways in beta cells in diabetes.”


Laura LoBuglio

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706


Dr. Victoria Baxter

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Dr. Victoria Baxter (Texas A&M ‘10) received the 2016 Merial Research Award for Graduate Veterinarians for her research project “The role of interferon gamma in the immunopathogenesis and control of Sindbis virus during nonfatal alphavirus encephalomyelitis.”

American College of Zoological Medicine


Dr. Kay Mehren

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249, 7; 10.2460/javma.249.7.706

Event: Annual meeting, July 17, Atlanta

Awards: Murray E. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Kay Mehren, Scarborough, Ontario, won this award, given in recognition of an ACZM diplomate who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the college while making lifetime contributions that have advanced the discipline of zoological medicine. A 1965 graduate of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and a charter diplomate of the ACZM.

Dr. Mehren was senior veterinarian at the Toronto Zoo for almost 30 years. She has served on the ACZM Executive Board and chaired the college's credentials committee. ACZM Student Manuscript Award: Dr. Jennifer C. Hausmann, Denver, for “Experimental challenge study of FV3-like Ranavirus infection in previously FV3-like Ranavirus infected Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) to assess infection and survival.” A 2011 graduate of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Hausmann is an associate veterinarian at the Denver Zoo. President's Award: Drs. Allison Tuttle, Mystic, Connecticut; Kurt Sladky, Madison, Wisconsin; and Scott Larson, Denver, for outstanding service to the college.

Officials: Drs. Sharon Deem, St. Louis, Missouri, president; Kay Backues, Tulsa, Oklahoma, vice president; Jennifer Langan, Brookfield, Illinois, secretary; Lisa Harrenstien, Portland, Oregon, treasurer; and R. Scott Larsen, Denver, immediate past president

Coming together for community cats

“All Cats All Communities” is the theme for National Feral Cat Day 2016, celebrated every Oct. 16. This year's poster cats—Inky, Pearl, and Pie—are real cats with stories that embody the theme. More than 2, 773 events and activities have taken place since Alley Cat Allies launched the event in 2011 to raise awareness about feral or “community” cats, promote trap-neuter-return, and “mobilize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.” Visit http://nationalferalcatday.org to learn more, find resources, and locate area events.

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

The American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine certified 58 new diplomates following the certification examination it held July 24 in Bethesda, Maryland. The new diplomates are as follows:

Sean Adams, San Jose

Portia Allen, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Krystal Allen-Worthington, Germantown, Maryland

Keith Anderson, Reno, Nevada

Sara Andux, Alice, Texas

Cassondra Bauer, Edgewood, New Mexico

Christine Bekkevold, Little Rock, Arkansas

Bryant Blank, Ithaca, New York

Tiffany Borjeson, Blacksburg, Virginia

Jonathan Bova, Ashland, Ohio

Madeline Budda, Oklahoma City

Laura Cacioppo, Madison, Wisconsin

Michael Campagna, Los Angeles

Elizabeth Carbone, Davis, California

Amy Carlson, Frederick, Maryland

Sheba Churchill, Raleigh, North Carolina

Tannia Clark, Bethesda, Maryland

Elizabeth Clemmons, Atlanta

Urshulla Dholakia, New York

Brandy Dozier, Portland, Oregon

Misha Dunbar, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Michael Esmail, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Rebekah Franklin, Madison, Wisconsin

Joanna Fried, Philadelphia

Bettina Gentry, Columbia, Missouri

Andrew Haertel, Portland, Oregon

Patrick Hanley, Hamilton, Montana

Kathy Hardcastle, Boston

James Hayes, Atlanta

Jessica Izzi, Bethesda, Maryland

Lucy Kennedy, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Catrina King, Bronx, New York

Robin Kramer, Boston

Emma Liechty, Chicago

Bonnie Lyons, Bar Harbor, Maine

Leah Makaron, Boston

Lynn Matsumiya, Montreal

Anthony May, Silver Spring, Maryland

Angela Mexas, Philadelphia

Cassandra Miller, Boston

Cassie Moats, Baltimore

Erin O'Connor, Columbia, Missouri

Karuna Patil, Tucson, Arizona

Blythe Phillips, Philadelphia

Matthew Rassette, Minneapolis

Balagangadharreddy Reddyjarugu, Tarrytown, New York

Irka Redelsperger, Rensselaer, New York

Nicholas Reyes, Seattle

Ken Salleng, Nashville, Tennessee

Jennifer Sargent, Corvallis, Oregon

Travis Seymour, San Jose, California

Dinesh Kumar Hirenallur Shanthappa, Thousand Oaks, California

Rivka Shoulson, New York

Allison Thiede, North Chicago, Illinois

Mayu Uchihashi, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wendy Williams, Oklahoma City

Stephanie Woods, Brooklyn, New York

Heather Zimmerman, Kenilworth, New Jersey

Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

Albert S. Abdullah

Dr. Abdullah (Texas A&M ‘57), 82, Dalhart, Texas, died May 27, 2016. In 1964, he moved to Dalhart, where he established Dalhart Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice. Dr. Abdullah served as arena veterinarian for the XIT Rodeo and Reunion for two decades and took care of the animals at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch. Earlier, he served as a captain in the Army and worked in Dumas, Texas.

Dr. Abdullah was a past president of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, served on the executive board of the Texas VMA, and co-founded Panhandle Veterinary Supply. In 2011, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Abdullah served on the Dalhart Independent School District and was a member of the Dalhart Chamber of Commerce and Masonic Lodge. He was named Dalhart Citizen of the Year in 1996.

Dr. Abdullah's wife, Nancy; a son and a daughter; and three grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P. O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123, or Children's Home, 3400 Bowie St., Amarillo, TX 79109.

Alfred C. Clausen

Dr. Clausen (Cornell ‘55), 85, Wantagh, New York, died July 6, 2016. A small animal practitioner, he worked for Bideawee, a pet welfare organization serving metropolitan New York and Long Island, for more than 40 years.

Dr. Clausen was a veteran of the Army, attaining the rank of lieutenant. Dr. Clausen is survived by his wife, Florence; two sons and two daughters; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Deborah A. Colker

Dr. Colker (Ohio State ‘80), 63, Miami, died Aug. 2, 2016. With a special interest in feline medicine, she practiced at Kendall Animal Clinic in Miami.

Dr. Colker was a past president of the South Florida VMA, served on the executive board of the Dade County Veterinary Foundation, and was a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Her husband, Michael, and three sons and a daughter survive her. Memorials may be made to Bet Shira Congregation Musical Fund, 7500 SW 120th St., Miami, FL 33156; or General Israel Orphans Home for Girls, 132 Nassau St., Suite 725, New York, NY 10038.

Layson T. Doty

Dr. Doty (Ohio State ‘54), 89, Lake Placid, Florida, died April 25, 2016. A small animal veterinarian, he was the co-founder of Southwest Animal Hospital in Miami.

Dr. Doty served in the Army during World War II. His wife, Joyce; two daughters, a son, a stepson, and two stepdaughters; 20 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 118 N. Oak Ave., Lake Placid, FL 33852.

David Eisenberg

Dr. Eisenberg (Kansas State ‘47), 88, Lakewood, New Jersey, died May 15, 2016. He was the founder of Ocean County Veterinary Hospital in Toms River, New Jersey. Early in his career, Dr. Eisenberg taught at Cornell University and worked in Mexico and New York. He was a past president of the New Jersey VMA.

Dr. Eisenberg's two sons and two daughters, four grandchildren, and two stepgrandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Mercaz (a Zionist organization supporting religious pluralism in Israel), 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 820, New York, NY 10015; Jewish National Fund, 42 E. 69th St., New York, NY 10021; Anti-Defamation League, 605 3rd St., New York, NY 10158; or Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Richard H. Galley

Dr. Galley (Colorado State ‘65), 74, Willow Park, Texas, died March 14, 2016. An equine veterinarian, he worked at racetracks in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas until 1993. Dr. Galley spent the remainder of his career practicing in Willow Park, focusing on equine lameness. He was a captain in the Army and served two years in Vietnam, receiving an Army Commendation Medal for his service. Dr. Galley was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and was active with the rodeo, participating in team roping. His wife, Sherida; a son and a daughter; and three grandchildren survive him. Memorials toward the Parker County Cowboy Church or the Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Group may be made c/o Aledo United Methodist Church, 100 Pecan Drive, Aledo, TX 76008.

Charles E. Jameson

Dr. Jameson (Texas A&M ‘71), 58, League City, Texas, died May 1, 2016. He owned Lap of Love Pet Hospice, serving the greater Houston area. Dr. Jameson also practiced emergency and critical care medicine for the last 20 years of his 45-year career. Earlier, he owned a large animal practice in Arkansas and worked for Hill's Pet Nutrition in New England. Dr. Jameson is survived by his wife, MaryBeth, and a son and a daughter.

Jon D. Krause

Dr. Krause (Cornell ‘73), 76, Palmyra, New York, died June 2, 2016. He owned Palymra Animal Hospital, a small animal practice, from 1974–2004. Dr. Krause was a past president of the Finger Lakes VMA.

His wife, Barbara; a son and a daughter; and three grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to America's Vet Dogs, Veteran's K-9 Corps, 371 Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787.

Monte E. Lorang

Dr. Lorang (Colorado State ‘71), 69, Sumner, Washington, died March 6, 2016. In 1975, he established Sumner Veterinary Hospital, where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement. Prior to that, Dr. Lorang worked at Parkway Veterinary Clinic in Tacoma, Washington.

His wife, Mary; a daughter; and two grandchildren survive him.

Thomas H. Pettit

Dr. Pettit (Cornell ‘64), 77, Port Charlotte, Florida, died July 28, 2016. He began his career practicing mixed animal medicine in Catskill, New York. In 1966, Dr. Pettit bought a mixed animal practice in Oneonta, New York, eventually switching his focus to small animal medicine. He began teaching in the veterinary science technology program at the State University of New York-Delhi in 1977 and sold his Oneonta practice in 1978 to pursue a full-time career in academia.

During his tenure at the university, Dr. Pettit served three years as dean of the former Agricultural Science Division and received honors for excellence in teaching. He retired as professor emeritus in 1999.

Dr. Pettit was a member of the Kiwanis Club. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; a daughter and two sons; and six grandchildren.

Alden E. Stilson Jr.

Dr. Stilson (Ohio State ‘57), 90, Granville, Ohio, died May 4, 2016. He served on the faculties of The Ohio State University colleges of medicine and veterinary medicine from 1961 until retirement in 1988. During that time, Dr. Stilson was director of what was known as the OSU Laboratory Animal Center and animal laboratories at the College of Medicine, and he served as an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Earlier, he worked in a general practice in Danville, Kentucky, for a year and directed the laboratory animal facility of the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Dr. Stilson was charter president of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners. He served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War and attained the rank of major general in the Army Reserve in 1979. Dr. Stilson received several military honors, including the Combat Infantry Badge, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, and Bronze Star. He was a member of the Rotary Club and American Legion.

Dr. Stilson's two daughters and six grandchildren survive him.

Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P. O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, or Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington DC 20002.

Duane E. Trueblood

Dr. Trueblood (Illinois ‘94), 48, Moweaqua, Illinois, died June 16, 2016. He practiced small animal medicine in Decatur, Illinois, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, until 2009.

Dr. Trueblood is survived by his parents, two sisters, and a brother. Memorials may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, P. O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090.

Dan W. Upson

Dr. Upson (Kansas State ‘52), 86, Manhattan, Kansas, died May 18, 2016. Following graduation, he worked in Hutchinson, Kansas, for a year, subsequently establishing a practice in Pretty Prairie, Kansas. In 1959, Dr. Upson joined Kansas State University as an instructor in the Department of Physiology, retiring as professor emeritus in 1994.

During his 35-year tenure at the university, he earned a master's and a doctorate in physiology; served as a professor of pharmacology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and a professor of anatomy and physiology in the College of Agriculture; directed what was known as the Veterinary Teaching Resource Center; and served as assistant dean for instruction.

Dr. Upson was a past chair of the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, serving on the committee from 1976–1981; was a member of the AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee from 2003–2005; and was a past president of the Kansas VMA.

Known for his expertise in veterinary clinical pharmacology, food animal pharmacology, and bovine pharmacology, he authored Upson's Handbook of Clinical Veterinary Pharmacology in 1981. Dr. Upson was a fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics and was a member of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, Comparative Gastroenterology Society, and American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

He received what is now known as the Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award in 1968, 1977, and 1991; was a past recipient of the KSU All-University Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award; was named Kansas Veterinarian of the Year in 1982; received the AABP Award of Excellence in 1994; and was honored with the KSU CVM E. R. Frank Alumni Recognition Award in 2003.

Dr. Upson officiated football in what was then the Big 8 Conference (now, Big 12) as a back judge for more than 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Stephanie; two daughters and a son; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Memorials toward the KSU Foundation for the Food for Thought Lecture Series in the College of Veterinary Medicine (established in honor of Dr. Upson), the American Heart Association, or Meadowlark Hills Good Samaritan Fund may be made c/o Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502.

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