Earlier this year, Dr. Kis Robertson Hale was made rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service, a rank equivalent to brigadier general in the Army. The promotion bears the responsibilities of a U.S. assistant surgeon general.
Dr. Robertson Hale is currently deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Public Health Science within the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service and is the agency's chief public health veterinarian. In these roles, she oversees the science behind the regulatory agenda at FSIS and represents the agency in one-health activities.
Prior to joining FSIS, Dr. Robertson Hale was an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, she was a CDC fellow in preventive medicine with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Dr. Robertson Hale is a 2003 graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
PRELIMINARY SETTLEMENT REACHED IN HILL'S LAWSUIT
Hill's Pet Nutrition will pay $12.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by pet owners who purchased canned dog foods containing excess vitamin D.
The preliminary settlement reached in early February in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas is set for a final approval hearing this July.
In 2019, Hill's voluntarily recalled a total of 86 product lots, including 33 varieties of its canned dog food products, after it was discovered that the vitamin premix contained excessive amounts of vitamin D.
The recall started in January and expanded to include additional products and product lots in the spring. The products were manufactured by Hill's and marketed under the Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet brands. Overall, the recalls affected slightly more than 1 million cases of dog food, or nearly 22 million cans.
A subsequent investigation by the Food and Drug Administration faulted Hill's for failing to follow company procedures for consistently verifying the quality of ingredients in its pet foods. The company responded that it had already addressed the FDA's concerns to avoid potential problems with its food ingredients in the future.
EDUCATION COUNCIL SCHEDULES SITE VISITS
The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to 11 schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2021.
Comprehensive site visits are planned for Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, April 4-8; the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, April 25-29; the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Veterinary School, May 9-14; Massey University School of Veterinary Science, May 23-28; the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine, July 18-22; Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Aug. 29-Sept. 2; Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sept. 26-30; Long Island University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 10-14; Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 24-28; Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nov. 7-11; and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nov. 14-18.
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.
Flea control products may endanger aquatic invertebrates
Studies in the UK, US see ecosystem risk from topical products
By Greg Cima
A research group recently found dangerous levels of insecticides in English rivers and determined flea control products are likely to blame.
The study joins works published in the U.S. and worldwide on environmental contamination with fipronil, fipronil degradates, and imidacloprid, often linking the contamination with flea and tick products applied to pets and passed through sewers. The studies apply to topical products rather than those administered orally.
An article published Feb. 10 in Science of the Total Environment indicates water samples collected by the U.K. Environment Agency from 20 English rivers almost always contained fipronil and usually contained imidacloprid, both neurotoxic pesticides. The authors, from the University of Sussex, analyzed agency data and found that the mean fipronil concentration was five times the chronic toxicity limit.
While the mean imidacloprid concentration was below its chronic toxicity limit, seven of the 20 rivers had concentrations above the limit.
The samples with the highest concentrations of each chemical came from just downstream of wastewater treatment facilities, and the authors said that finding supports their contention that the chemicals originate from veterinary-use flea control products that wash down household drains.
“These findings suggest the need for a reevaluation of the environmental risks associated with the use of companion animal parasiticide products, and the environmental impact assessments that these products undergo prior to regulatory approval,” the article states. “Reappraisal of current ectoparasite management protocols may also be warranted.”
STUDIES IN UNITED STATES FIND LINK BETWEEN PET PRODUCTS, POLLUTION
A team from Arizona State University found that fiproles (fipronil and its degradates) were ubiquitous in water samples collected from 2001-16 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Samples collected from the effluent of 12 wastewater treatment facilities in 2015-16 also contained these compounds at concentrations dangerous for chronically exposed aquatic invertebrates.
The researchers, from Arizona State's Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering and School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, described those findings in the February 2019 issue of Water Research.
The Water Research article notes that prior studies suggest fiproles are toxic to aquatic invertebrates and pollinators in parts-per-trillion concentrations and the degradates have half-lives of up to several hundred days. The authors called for further investigation and regulation of nonagricultural fipronil uses, “particularly spot-on treatment for flea and tick control on domestic animals.”
In another study, a California-based research team washed dogs either two, seven, or 28 days after application of a fipronil product and detected fipronil and fipronil sulfone in all samples. They published those findings in 2017 in Science of the Total Environment, available at jav.ma/washoff.
Twenty-eight days after application, the team found fiproles could be dislodged and washed down the drain at a magnitude of milligrams per dog.
“Measurements of dislodgeable pesticide residues during routine bathing confirm spot-on fipronil treatments contribute a substantial mass fraction of total fipronil loading to the wastewater catchment,” the article states.
If groomers and pet owners washed 25% of treated dogs within a week of application, that would account for the entire fiprole load found in sewers—based on measurements from water treatment plants in Northern California, the article states.
Jennifer Teerlink, PhD, environmental program manager for the Surface Water Protection Program at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and lead author of the 2017 article on fipronil washed off of dogs, said she expects other sources—such as water used to wash clothing or pet bedding—also contribute fipronil to waterways but in lower concentrations. She said the study didn't examine how often dogs are bathed, and she thinks it would be good to examine data from professional groomers in particular.
Dr. Teerlink said she and her colleagues in the Surface Water Protection Program continue studying the sources and concentrations of pesticides in wastewater, mostly imidacloprid, fipronil, and pyrethroids. That work includes modeling what proportion of fipronil that reaches aquatic environments comes from wastewater.
Pesticide concentrations in waterways have already raised enough ecological concerns to prompt changes in how some products are used. In 2017, the state changed the registrations of fipronil-containing sprays used outside of buildings to keep out ants or termites. In doing so, the state prohibited application during the November through February rainy season, decreased the maximum concentrations and width of sprays outside buildings, and prohibited applications to some impervious surfaces linked with runoff.
No fipronil-containing products are registered for agricultural use in California, Dr. Teerlink said. The Arizona State team separately found no links between fiprole concentrations and agricultural fipronil use.
Kelly D. Moran, PhD, senior scientist for the San Francisco Estuary Institute, co-authored a 2016 article, published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, that indicates most of the fipronil and imidacloprid that enters sewage treatment plants passes through them into surface waters, and flea and tick products likely were the primary sources in sewage. The team found stunning consistency of contamination per capita, she said. Dr. Teerlink was among the authors of that paper as well.
Dr. Moran also has worked as a consultant on wastewater treatment, and she has found that fipronil and imidacloprid concentrations in wastewater could hamper efforts by some cities to perform the purification needed to recycle wastewater into drinking water. Disposing of waste from that process becomes more difficult with higher pesticide concentrations, she said.
PESTICIDES ENDANGER ECOSYSTEM HEALTH
U.S. Geological Survey and EPA researchers, in an article published in May 2017 in Environmental Science and Technology, indicated fipronil and imidacloprid were among the pesticides endangering aquatic life in 38 streams across the U.S., as shown through analysis of samples collected November 2012-June 2014. The researchers tested the samples for human-source organic contaminants—especially pesticides, antimicrobials, pharmaceuticals, and degradates of those substances—and found 389.
“Invertebrates comprise most animal biomass in aquatic ecosystems and the current results suggest substantial potential for adverse contaminant impacts,” the article states. “For example, the phenylpyrazole insecticide, fipronil, blocks GABA-gated chloride channels of insect central nervous systems leading to reduced reproduction and survival and at least two fipronil degradates (sulfide, sulfone) are reported to be more toxic to sensitive aquatic invertebrates than the parent compound.”
One fipronil degradate, desulfinylfipronil, was the most frequently detected contaminant, occurring at 32 of 38 stream sites. The researchers found at least two fipronil-related compounds at 19 sites and imidacloprid at 37%.
EPA officials are reviewing the approved uses of fipronil through a program that reevaluates all registered pesticides at least once every 15 years, and, in May 2020, EPA officials issued a draft risk assessment that noted concentrations of fipronil and fipronil degradates found in wastewater treatment plant effluent, according to a statement provided by an EPA spokesperson.
“If EPA determines there are urgent human or environmental risks from pesticide exposures that require prompt attention, the Agency will take appropriate regulatory action, regardless of the registration review status of the pesticide,” the statement says.
AGREEMENT ON REGULATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED LIVESTOCK UNDER REVIEW
By Greg Cima
An agreement signed in the last days of the Trump administration would shift regulatory authority over genetically modified livestock.
A Department of Agriculture spokesman said in February that decision is among many under review by the Biden administration. In March, USDA officials also provided notice they were seeking comments on the potential changes.
On Jan. 19, leaders in the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services signed an agreement that the USDA would take over portions of the Food and Drug Administration's oversight of genetic modifications in agricultural animals and biotechnology for agricultural animals.
“Under this framework, USDA would safeguard animal and human health by providing end-to-end oversight from pre-market reviews through post-market food safety monitoring for certain farm animals modified or developed using genetic engineering that are intended for human food,” a USDA announcement states.
The FDA would retain authority over genomic alterations for nonagricultural purposes and over dairy products, eggs, some meat products, and animal feed derived from modified animals, the announcement states. The memorandum also states that the FDA would implement a streamlined risk-based approach to oversight of intentional genomic alterations in animals.
Previously, the USDA had authority over genetic engineering of plants, while the FDA regulated all genetic engineering of animal species.
USDA officials proposed the change Dec. 27, 2020, which at least some livestock industry leaders welcomed. Representatives from the National Pork Producers Council submitted comments in support of the change, which stated the USDA would encourage innovation better than FDA regulators and claimed that the FDA's regulation of genetic modifications as drugs had slowed development in the U.S. in comparison with competitors in other countries.
USDA officials announced March 7 they were reopening the proposal's comment period, which had expired Feb. 26. The agency is accepting comments through May 7 at regulations.gov under docket number APHIS-2020-0079.
On the day the memorandum was signed, Stephen M. Hahn, MD, then FDA commissioner, said via Twitter that the FDA did not support the agreement signed by the HHS.
“FDA has no intention of abdicating our public health mandate,” he wrote. “We'll continue to stay focused on executing our vital public health mission entrusted to us by the American people.”
He said FDA officials remained committed to ensuring animal agriculture biotechnology products would undergo independent, scientific, risk-based evaluations by career experts who could determine whether the products are safe and effective.
FDA officials have been regulating intentional genomic alterations in animals as drugs. In guidance documents, they note that the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines a drug as an article “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals,” and that includes any article other than food that affects the structure or function of the body.
In December 2020, FDA officials approved a genetic modification that allows production of pigs without detectable amounts of alpha-gal, a sugar molecule that triggers a rare allergy in humans.
RETAILERS SEE BENEFITS IN OFFERING VETERINARY TELEHEALTH
By R. Scott Nolen
Chewy, the online pet food and pet product retailer owned by PetSmart, has joined the growing ranks of companies offering telemedicine services connecting pet-owning customers with veterinarians.
“Visiting a local vet continues to be a challenge for many pet parents during this time,” said Sumit Singh, CEO of Chewy, in a statement announcing the launch of Connect With a Vet last October. “The vet community has also been impacted via clinic shutdowns or reduced clinic hours. So, we thought, why not come up with a solution that can help both communities, our customers and veterinarians, in this time of greatest need.”
Connect With a Vet was initially launched in Florida and Massachusetts in the spring of 2020, and Chewy has since expanded it to 47 states with plans of going nationwide. The service is available exclusively and free of charge to customers subscribed to Chewy's auto-ship program.
Approximately 35 companies currently offer veterinary telemedicine services, according to Dr. Aaron Smiley, president of the Indiana VMA and a telemedicine advocate, who says it's a way that companies can promote customer loyalty.
“The customer benefits by getting advice from a veterinary expert versus a Google search or asking a friend on Facebook,” Dr. Smiley explained. “And the animal always benefits when its owner has access to veterinary medicine.”
A study by the AVMA and Purdue University published online this past August on Science Direct examined client perspectives and willingness to pay for veterinary telemedicine. Researchers found that pet owners prefer to be connected with their veterinarian versus a random veterinarian nationally and that they are willing to pay more for that connection.
“This is critically central to the discussion around telemedicine and the concerns by veterinarians that telemedicine will take away their clients and hurt the practice,” said Matthew J. Salois, PhD, the AVMA's chief veterinary economist. “On the contrary, our study demonstrates that telemedicine can be a hugely impactful tool to deepen the veterinary relationship with their client and support the economic sustainability of the practice.”
FDA OFFERS LISTINGS OF CLINICAL STUDIES IN REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
Food and Drug Administration officials hope they can help connect veterinarians and animal owners with clinical studies of regenerative medicine in animals.
In February, agency officials began populating a site with information on clinical studies involving the use of animal cells, tissues, and cell- and tissue-based products in veterinary patients. Enrolled animals may be pets or production animals. At press time, the site had listings for studies of stem cell–related treatments for chronic gingivostomatitis in cats, chronic enteropathy in cats, and spina bifida in English Bulldogs.
“We are offering this webpage as a resource because we've heard from veterinarians and pet owners who are eager to take part in clinical studies and avail their patients and pets of the potential that veterinary regenerative medicine may offer,” an agency announcement states. “Connecting interested pet owners and their veterinary teams with relevant clinical studies also helps sponsors in generating data toward potential FDA approval.”
The site includes information on the species and conditions involved in each investigational study, the products used, and the recruitment and study periods, along with contact information for each product sponsor.
NEW LISTINGS IN AVMA ANIMAL HEALTH STUDIES DATABASE
Below are some of the new listings of veterinary clinical studies in the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database. Information about participating in the studies is available at avma.org/findvetstudies.
AAHSD005257: “Impact of staged dietary approach on quality and quantity of life in cats with chronic kidney disease,” The Ohio State University.
AAHSD005258: “Phase II study of neratinib in dogs with pulmonary adenocarcinoma,” The Ohio State University.
AAHSD005260: “Defining the pharmacodynamic profile of STING agonist immunotherapy in dogs with solid tumors,” University of Pennsylvania.
AAHSD005261: “Evaluation of NEMO binding domain (NBD) peptide for dogs with soft tissue sarcoma,” University of Pennsylvania.
AAHSD005262: “Pilot study of high-dose ascorbate combined with carboplatin for canine osteosarcoma (OSA),” Iowa State University.
AAHSD005264: “An exploratory study to assess pain management and safety of metabolomic therapy in dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma;” Quakertown Veterinary Clinic, Quakertown, Pennsylvania; Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center, Tucson, Arizona; and Charlotte Animal Referral & Emergency, Charlotte, North Carolina.
AAHSD005266: “Ethos Precision Medicine Umbrella Study for Hemangiosarcoma (Ethos-PUSH);” Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital, Woburn; Veterinary
Specialty Hospital-Sorrento Valley, San Diego; Veterinary Specialty Hospital-North County, San Marcos, California; Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin, San Rafael, California; Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, Wheat Ridge, Colorado; Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center of Hawaii, Honolulu; Premier Veterinary Group-Grayslake, Grayslake, Illinois; Premier Veterinary Group-Orland Park, Orland Park, Illinois; Premier Veterinary Group-Chicago; Bulger Veterinary Hospital, Lawrence, Massachusetts; Peak Veterinary Referral Center, Williston, New Hampshire; Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; The Oncology Service-Richmond, Richmond, Virginia; Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center-Waukesha; Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center-Racine, Somers; Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center-Grafton.
RESCUERS SAVE 5,000 COLD-STUNNED SEA TURTLES IN TEXAS
Texas experienced a rapid drop in temperatures in February, resulting in more than 5,300 cold-stunned sea turtles on South Padre Island. When the water gets too cold, sea turtles are unable to move or swim, putting them in danger of drowning. The nonprofit Sea Turtle Inc. led efforts by thousands of community members to rescue the turtles. The staff of Sea Turtle Inc. and volunteers cared for the turtles in a football field–sized overflow facility at the South Padre Island Convention Center & Visitors Bureau.
IDEXX CONTRIBUTES $3.6M TO TUSKEGEE VETERINARY COLLEGE
The Idexx Foundation, a donor-advised fund from Idexx Laboratories Inc., intends to gift $3.6 million over six years to Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in Tuskegee, Alabama.
The initiative is designed to promote diversity in the veterinary field and includes nine four-year scholarships in 2021. Tuskegee is the only historically Black university with a veterinary college in the U.S. and has, according to the college, educated more than 70% of the nation's Black veterinarians.
Tuition and fees for a first-year, in-state student at the veterinary college are about $44,000, according to public data from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Nearly a quarter of first-year students received scholarships during the last academic year, according to the AAVMC's Cost Comparison Tool, and overall, 40.7% of students received a scholarship that year. However, the average scholarship amount was only $1,326. Meanwhile, 100% of Tuskegee's veterinary students had debt, with mean debt totaling $82,966.
The foundation's donation will also provide funding for mental health support for veterinary students, capital improvements to facilities, and emergency funding for students in need.
“This is the most impactful contribution that our beloved college has received in our 75 years of existence and recognizes our legacy of work training and educating students of color,” said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the veterinary college, in a press release.
According to AAVMC public data, nearly 77% of the student population at the veterinary college identifies as coming from groups underrepresented in veterinary medicine.
Jay Mazelsky, Idexx president and CEO, said in the press release: “The past 10 years have seen tremendous growth in the diversity of the pet-owning population. Ensuring all pets have access to the highest standard of care in their communities starts with advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in veterinary medicine.”
The veterinary college has received multiple donations in the past year. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Hill's Pet Nutrition announced a scholarship program with an endowment of $45,000 from Hill's last September. Zoetis and American Humane also donated an inaugural grant of $40,000 to support students of color at the veterinary college in November. Mars Veterinary Health, which encompasses Banfield, VCA, and BluePearl animal hospitals, and Mars Inc.-owned Royal Canin pledged to donate at least $125,000 in student financial aid to the Tuskegee veterinary college this past September as well.
CAPC WARNS CARE DELAYS MAY LEAVE PETS VULNERABLE TO PARASITES
By Greg Cima
A parasite control group worries delayed veterinary care early in 2020 could lead to lapses in parasite protection in pets.
The same organization also predicts widespread increases in heartworm disease in 2021.
Leaders of the Companion Animal Parasite Council, a nonprofit foundation of animal and human health professionals, warned in an announcement that veterinarians’ appointment scheduling software may inadvertently create an echo of business trends from 2020, when clinics experienced a lull in business in the spring followed by an overwhelming crush of visits in the summer. CAPC leaders recommend that veterinarians consider sending clients reminders earlier and working with them to move up appointments.
Dr. Chris Carpenter, CAPC president and CEO, said in the announcement that every pet needs annual testing for parasites and timely preventives.
“Our concern is that the delayed veterinary visits in 2020 may cause difficulties in pets getting access to healthcare in 2021,” Dr. Carpenter said.
Dr. Rick Marrinson is a member of the CAPC board of directors and owner of a five-veterinarian practice in Longwood, Florida, which is near Orlando. He said in an interview that his practice's revenue dropped about 10% in March and April 2020 in comparison with 2019, intestinal parasite screenings declined 14.7%, and heartworm tests declined 10%, yet the practice received a surge of business in the summer and fall from pet owners. He knows other veterinarians had similar experiences.
“Our practice management software—when you see that animal, it automatically creates reminders for that exact time next year,” he said.
Dr. Marrinson also warned that preliminary CAPC data, scheduled for publication in April, indicates heartworm will be unusually prevalent in 2021. The organization predicts hot spots in atypical areas, including New Mexico, Colorado, Northern California, northern Montana, and northern North Dakota.
“It's just a crazy map coming out this year, and I just want veterinarians to be watching that, especially those people who always think they don't have heartworms in their area,” Dr. Marrinson said. “We're going to start seeing it everywhere.”
WORLD VETERINARY DAY 2021 FOCUSES ON VETERINARIAN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS
The World Veterinary Association wants member associations to tell the WVA how veterinarians have helped the world respond to COVID-19. The theme of World Veterinary Day 2021, which falls on April 24, is “Veterinarian response to the COVID-19 crisis.”
The WVA created World Veterinary Day in 2000 as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession, taking place on the last Saturday of April. Starting two years ago, the WVA has partnered with Health for Animals, the global animal medicines association, on the World Veterinary Day Award, which honors one WVA member's activities related to the theme.
According to this year's award announcement, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic “changed life as we know it and significantly affected the global human and animal populations.
“And yet, through this challenging time, veterinary medicine meaningfully and rapidly evolved, demonstrating veterinarians’ ability to cope, adjust, and adapt; and to continue in their role as leaders of animal health and welfare and public health.”
The WVA and Health for Animals will confer the World Veterinary Day Award and $3,500 for the best contribution on the annual theme by a WVA member association working alone or with other groups.
In 2020, the theme of World Veterinary Day was “Environmental protection for improving animal and human health.” The Indian Veterinary Association–Kerala won the 2020 World Veterinary Day Award for promoting the theme with 75 activities. Among the activities were the following:
Adoption of a World Veterinary Day pledge.
A four-day national online seminar.
A series of publications and competitions.
A tree-planting campaign.
Implementation of telehealth services for farmers.
Development of a phone app.
Distribution of livestock feed to farmers in need.
Distribution of personal protective equipment to health care workers.
A series of social media campaigns.
A one-health art exhibition.
Development of educational programs for farmers.
A women's veterinary convention with a focus on equality.
Details about World Veterinary Day and the World Veterinary Day Award are available at worldvet.org.
NATIONAL DOG BITE PREVENTION WEEK COMING IN MID-APRIL
To help educate the public and reduce the estimated 4.5 million dog bites per year, the AVMA is once again sponsoring National Dog Bite Prevention Week, held this year from April 11-17.
Members of the AVMA can spread the message to their clients and communities with the AVMA's member toolkit for preventing dog bites, which includes clinic materials and tools, posts for social media, and information on why the AVMA believes that breed-specific legislation is an ineffective response to the problem of dog bites.
The member toolkit, along with additional statistics, resources, and information, can be found on the AVMA's Dog Bite Prevention Week website at jav.ma/biteweek.
Animal shelters, control officers aim to be more community-centric
Experts discuss the evolving role of a shelter, who it supports, and how it operates
By Kaitlyn Mattson
Kristen Hassen, like many people who work in animal shelters, knows pet owners don't relinquish their animals because they want to. Finding solutions to this issue while dealing with overpopulated shelters has been difficult. However, the increase in fostering associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed shelter leaders to do something different.
“We are trying to turn the whole community into an animal shelter,” said Hassen, director of American Pets Alive, a national organization whose goal is to save animals in shelters. “We see the role of animal services evolving. The shelter becomes a last line of defense, but really, the shelter becomes one solution and not the solution.”
JAVMA News spoke with several animal services and shelter leaders about the layered challenges ahead related to the eviction crisis, as well as how the industry is changing the way it interacts with communities and having essential conversations related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
THE HASS MODEL
Hassen oversees the Human Animal Support Services project, which is a widespread effort to redefine animal services facilitated by American Pets Alive. In late March, the HASS project had 38 pilot shelters across the U.S. and Canada. The project also involves 700 industry experts, from animal welfare leaders to shelter workers to veterinarians. One of the goals of the HASS project is to gather research and create tools aimed at helping animal support services.
The following elements are important parts of the HASS project:
Establishing a program to successfully reunify lost pets with their owners.
Providing pet support services that give owners access to medical, food, housing, and behavioral support when it is needed.
Providing re-homing support so pet owners who can no longer keep their animals can safely rehome them without the pet entering a shelter.
Reworking how the physical shelter facility is perceived so it becomes a place solely for emergency care or short-term housing in urgent situations.
Modifying how field support or animal control officers provide support, information, access to care, and other resources to the community.
Building partnerships locally among human service providers, veterinarians, and rescue groups so the family is treated as a unit.
Using a foster-centric model through which animals are placed directly in foster homes hours or days after entering the shelter.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION IN ANIMAL WELFARE
Dr. Jyothi V. Robertson, a board-certified shelter medicine veterinarian, is a principal consultant for the consulting firm Adisa and owns JVR Shelter Strategies. She spends a lot of time thinking about equity issues.
“Marginalized communities and people with lower incomes deserve animals as much as wealthy people, and yet, that has not been the way that shelters have worked,” said Dr. Robertson, who is the chair of the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. “What does it look like to rethink how we support communities and have happy families with pets?”
She said doing internal anti-racism work and examining implicit biases and the systems that support those biases are important.
For example, ask questions such as the following: Is it supporting the welfare of animals to remove them from a lower-income area and then transfer them to a higher-income area for adoption? Is it right to view something as cruelty or write a citation if assistance or resources may be better for the animal and the pet owner?
Dr. Robertson, who is Indian, has always talked about diversity, but the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020 sparked her to have more conversations about equity in shelter systems.
“There are many different organizations that have very stringent adoption requirements, and some people can't meet those, and then you wonder why there are backyard breeding and strays,” she said. “People aren't given the opportunity to use the shelter to adopt or have a relationship with people in the shelter when there are so many barriers. Institutional structures have caused a lot of systemic problems. We are just opening our awareness to it in animal welfare now.”
According to recent research, there are biases in animal welfare and adoption. The company Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity Inc. and Harvard University's Project Implicit, with funding from Nestlé Purina PetCare, surveyed about 1,700 people working in companion animal welfare to assess racial and socioeconomic attitudes. That research found there is a moderate to strong implicit preference for adoptions by white people over Black and Hispanic people, as well as a preference for wealthy individuals versus poor individuals. The report is available at jav.ma/CAREResults.
James Evans, CEO and creative director of Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity Inc.—whose mission is to bring diverse voices to the animal welfare industry while also advocating for a more inclusive path to pet adoption—has seen the bias firsthand.
“White supremacy is everywhere,” said Evans, who is Black. “We should expect to see it in animal welfare, and we should be looking at this as a moment to do some work in the field. … Animal welfare folks often ask, ‘Can this person afford their pet?’ But can they (shelters) afford the pet? Shelters and rescues aren't running off one income. Even the largest organizations are dependent on donations, and yet, too often, if an underserved person comes in to adopt, we say we're not sure if you can afford a pet. We haven't left our colonial roots at all. … Sometimes when people who look like me walk into an animal shelter, they're asked if they have a prison record.”
Evans’ firm, Illume Communications, worked for nearly a decade with the Humane Society of the United States. The firm was a principal architect in the HSUS Pets for Life program, a project promoting pet owner support and social justice in animal welfare.
Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity Inc. launched last year and is offering diversity, equity, and inclusion training or counseling to people in the animal welfare community. The company is also working to establish CARE centers. These centers will be led by local community leaders who are Black and other people of color.
Amanda Arrington, senior director of Pets for Life, said the program has been operating as a support service for years. It has identified two areas where private practice veterinarians, who may not be involved in shelters, can help: by offering incremental amounts of care and by improving cultural competencies.
“There is long-term work to be done, but in the immediate term, be informed on issues of inequity and understand that a lack of financial means does not equate to a lack of love,” Arrington said. “Consider extending empathy beyond the animal. Over the last few decades in companion animal welfare, we have highlighted the animal, and we are now waking up as a movement and as an industry to the need for bringing the whole picture into focus. It doesn't mean taking the animal out of focus, but we have to understand the people and the community connected to the animal to make our work more effective and successful.”
Pets for Life released a Sustainability Guide in 2019. Among other things, the guide discusses how to communicate and engage on topics of racial and economic injustice—and why these topics matter to animal welfare. The guide is available at jav.ma/sustainability.
The role of an animal control officer or field support officer in many areas across the U.S. has historically included an enforcement angle. But some departments, including the Human Animal Support Services pilot shelters, are shifting away from a punitive model to one that focuses on support.
“It is a different approach,” said Hassen, the project overseer. “The new role of animal control addresses root causes.”
For example, there has to be a root cause if a dog gets picked up as a stray multiple times. Instead of writing a citation, officers could look to identify that root cause and, if it turns out the root cause is an unfenced yard, help the dog's owners with building a fence.
Dr. Maria Sabio-Solacito, senior veterinarian at the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control, said changing how field officers operate within the community has been a cultural shift, but the officers are more welcome these days.
LA DACC has made several changes, including asking officers to try to facilitate the return of animals to owners in the field so animals are never taken into a shelter and the owner doesn't have to pay a fee. “After a few months of doing it, we have noticed a huge difference in how people receive us,” Dr. Sabio-Solacito said. “We are not just an enforcement agency anymore, we are a part of the community.”
LA County Animal Care is not a Human Animal Support Services pilot shelter. However, the organization is involved in working groups for the project.
Edward Jamison, director of Dallas Animal Services, which is a pilot shelter with HASS, said while change is happening in Dallas, it is difficult because of the city's history. Antoinette Brown was mauled to death by a pack of dogs in 2016, which led to a call for more enforcement by animal control and several structural changes, including the hiring of Jamison.
Jamison said that in the last several months, Dallas Animal Services has put an emphasis on return-to-owner programs. To decrease human-to-human contact during the pandemic, DAS set up a call center through the nonprofit Spay Neuter Network to return calls by phone rather than DAS making all in-person stops. Emergency calls are still responded to in person, but low-priority calls are handled over the phone. He said the triage call system has significantly helped in lowering intake of animals into the shelter.
“Culture doesn't change overnight,” he said. “It is a lot harder to work through. People remember the bad so much more than the good.”
Public safety is still a top priority for DAS, and, in fact, dog bites actually went down by 33% in the first quarter of the fiscal year, Jamison said.
An estimated 19 million pets are living in homes in the U.S. at risk of eviction or foreclosure because of the pandemic, according to data released by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in December.
At press time, there was a federal eviction moratorium in effect. However, there is some confusion and misinterpretation around who can be evicted and for what, even with the additional protections in place, said Arrington of the Pets for Life program.
“Renters can still be evicted,” she said. “A dog barking can still cause an eviction.”
It is important for shelter workers to know about the federal moratorium and its various requirements, Arrington added.
The order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a CDC declaration form for tenants facing potential eviction are available at jav.ma/CDCorder. Regional Housing Legal Services, a nonprofit law firm, provides state moratorium information at jav.ma/bystate. HASS, HSUS, and the Association of Animal Welfare Advancement also released a Keeping Families Together Eviction Toolkit that offers resources and information at jav.ma/evictiontoolkit.
Several organizations and shelters have developed foster safety net programs or temporary boarding programs for pet owners who are facing eviction or housing insecurity, including LifeLine Animal Project in Atlanta, Pet Peace of Mind, Pact for Animals, and the Soar Initiative. And the ASPCA has donated $7.5 million to help pet owners and animal welfare groups through its COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Initiative.
“We're trying to anticipate things that are likely to happen, but there is vast uncertainty,” said Rebecca Guinn, director and founder of Lifeline Animal Project, which is a pilot shelter with HASS. “But we are a county animal shelter, so we are used to not being able to predict.”
Despite industrywide efforts, there are challenges ahead, but Hassen sees potential and is positive about the future beyond the pandemic.
“This has been a terrifying moment, but the silver lining is that we are in this together,” Hassen said. “If we come together as a united voice, we will move forward.”
SURVEY FINDS COST, DIFFICULTIES WITH ACCESS ARE PRIMARY BARRIERS TO VETERINARY CARE
Survey results suggest dog owners share some understanding across demographics on the conditions for which they would seek veterinary care.
Whether they seek that care is linked with the availability of care, which includes the expected cost of services, ease of transportation to a clinic, clinic hours, and language differences, as well as the owner's trust in veterinarians, according to an article published Jan. 5 in Veterinary Sciences. Those responses varied by dog owners’ demographics.
“This finding is in contrast with previous studies, which have maintained an assumption that race and ethnicity are primary predictors in the decision to access veterinary services for companion animals,” the article states.
The authors, a research team from North Carolina State University, conducted a survey of 858 dog-owning adults, who answered questions about whether they would seek veterinary care under 18 circumstances. The respondents also provided demographic data on themselves and their dogs and answered questions about their relationships with their dogs, previous veterinary care, and barriers to using veterinary care.
The results indicate participants overall were most likely to seek veterinary care for their dogs in circumstances such as trauma, poison ingestion, and the need for end-of-life care, and they were least likely to seek care for conditions such as vomiting, diarrhea, and weight gain.
Certain dog owners may be disproportionately affected by cost, especially people of Native American or Asian descent, people who earn less than $25,000 annually, young dog owners, and owners without formal education, the article states.
“Across all demographic groups, cost appeared to be the largest barrier to veterinary care with 49.6% of participants indicating cost to be a challenge,” the article states.
Hours of operation and ease of transportation were the second and third most-cited barriers to care, affecting about 30% of respondents each. The article indicates a little more than one in six respondents cited lack of trust in veterinarians among the barriers to seeking veterinary care. That response was more frequent among dog owners who are male, those who are Black or Native American, and those with higher education.
“Though, interestingly, the barrier ‘Poor previous encounter with veterinarians’ was not significant for any demographic group,” the article states.
About one in eight respondents cited language differences as a barrier.
Dr. Joni Scheftel (Minnesota ‘82), Mayer. Dr. Scheftel serves as Minnesota state public health veterinarian and supervises the Zoonotic Diseases Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health. She previously practiced mixed animal medicine in Watertown. A past president of the MVMA, Dr. Scheftel is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
Outstanding Faculty Award
Dr. Edward “Ned” Patterson (Minnesota ‘96), St. Paul. Dr. Patterson is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He was recently selected to participate in the Big Ten Academic Leadership Program, and he serves as a mentor in the Gopher Orientation and Leadership Experience course. Dr. Patterson is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Emerging Leader Award
Dr. Rob Memmen (Minnesota ‘10), Minnetonka. Dr. Memmen co-owns Gehrman Animal Hospital in Minnetonka. He previously worked in South Bend, Indiana. Dr. Memmen is co-chair of the MVMA Operations and Finance Committee and is a member of the MVMA Bylaws task force and Minnesota Opportunities for Veterinarian Engagement. MOVE is an initiative by the MVMA to support the professional success and development of veterinarians through social and educational networking opportunities.
Drs. Connie Sillerud, Golden Valley, president; Nancy Peterson, New Ulm, president-elect; Beth Thompson, Zumbrota, vice president; Jim Winsor, Inver Grove Heights, treasurer; and Matthew Boyle, Hager City, Wisconsin, immediate past president
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MICROBIOLOGISTS
Following the certification examination it held remotely on Nov. 20-21, 2020, the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists welcomed new diplomates in the following categories.
Hatem H. Kittana, Columbia, Missouri
Shivani Ojha, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Narayan C. Paul, College Station, Texas
Sophie E. Peterhans, Zurich
Lutz Schönecker, Oberhausen-Rheinhausen, Germany
Khawaja A. Ahmed, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Jeba Jesudoss Chelladurai, Manhattan, Kansas
Ignacio Correas, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Mohamed A. Abouelkhair, Knoxville, Tennessee
Eman Anis, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Hwi-Yeon Choi, Seoul, South Korea
Stephen D. Cole, Philadelphia
Grazieli Maboni, Guelph, Ontario
Santhamani Ramasamy, Kearney, New Jersey
Obituaries: AVMA MEMBER | AVMA HONOR ROLL MEMBER | NONMEMBER
J. IRVINE BINGHAM
Dr. Bingham (Washington State ‘63), 84, Georgetown, California, died Dec. 28, 2020. In 1973, he established Green Valley Animal Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Folsom, California. Dr. Bingham later moved his practice to Georgetown. Earlier in his career, he served as a partner in a practice in Orangevale, California, for 10 years. Dr. Bingham is survived by his wife, Jean; eight children; 15 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a sister.
HAROLD M. BRAEUTIGAM
Dr. Braeutigam (Michigan State ‘51), 92, Frankenmuth, Michigan, died Dec. 9, 2020. He owned a mixed animal practice in Frankenmuth until retirement in 1996. During his career, Dr. Braeutigam was also an adjunct clinical professor at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Active in organized veterinary medicine, he served on the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine and was a past president of the Michigan and Saginaw Valley VMAs. In 1984, the Michigan State veterinary college named Dr. Braeutigam a Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus. In 1994, the college honored him with the Birth of a Purebred Food Animal Practitioner Award. He was also a past recipient of a Michigan VMA Service Award.
Dr. Braeutigam was a past vice president of the Board of Education for the Frankenmuth School District and was a member of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a district governor for the Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. In 2016, the Frankenmuth School District honored Dr. Braeutigam with the Champion for the Children Award. He was also a past recipient of the Frankenmuth Jaycees’ Herbert L. Keineth Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Braeutigam served as a first lieutenant in the Army Veterinary Corps from 1953-55 and was a member of the American Legion. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne; three sons, two stepsons, and a stepdaughter; 12 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. One son, Dr. Kim Braeutigam (Michigan State ‘79), practices at Four Winds Farm and Equine Hospital in Bridgeport, Michigan. Memorials may be made to the St. Lorenz Foundation, 140 Churchgrove Road, Frankenmuth, MI 48734, or the Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Drive, Chicago, IL 60693.
JAMES D. DENHART
Dr. Denhart (Iowa State ‘68), 76, Des Moines, Iowa, died Nov. 12, 2020. From 1973 until retirement in 2009, he owned Eastown Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Des Moines. Dr. Denhart also helped establish and served on the board of directors of the Animal Emergency Clinic in Des Moines. Earlier in his career, he practiced in Los Angeles and South Bend, Indiana.
Dr. Denhart was a member of the Iowa VMA. He is survived by his wife, Rita; a son and two daughters; four grandchildren; and a brother, Dr. Joseph W. Denhart (Iowa State ‘67), a veterinarian in Shenandoah, Iowa. Memorials may be made to the Animal Rescue League, 5452 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313.
NORMAN E. HUTTON
Dr. Hutton (Iowa State ‘66), 86, Marion, Iowa, died Jan. 5, 2021. A past vice president of the AVMA, he retired in 1997 as interim dean of Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation and after earning a master's in computer science from Iowa State, Dr. Hutton helped establish the Department of Biomedical Communications at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During his 11-year tenure at the veterinary college, he served as a professor, was assistant dean, and directed biomedical communications. Dr. Hutton also consulted with zoos nationwide, setting up computer systems for recording animal data. In 1977, he was named assistant dean of Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also served as a professor. In retirement, Dr. Hutton served as a consultant for the Iowa State veterinary college.
He was a past chair of the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee and a past vice chair of the former AVMA Continuing Education Advisory Committee. Dr. Hutton served on the Organizing Committee for the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress in 2002. He was a member of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and Oregon VMA. In 2009, Dr. Hutton received Iowa State veterinary college's Stange Award.
He was a veteran of the Army. Dr. Hutton is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a sister. Memorials may be made to the Hutton International Veterinary Scholarship, Iowa State University Foundation, 2505 University Blvd., Ames, IA 50010.
WALTER F. LOEB
Dr. Loeb (Pennsylvania ‘55), 88, Gaithersburg, Maryland, died Dec. 24, 2020. He was a co-founder of Ani Lytics, a reference laboratory in Gaithersburg, developing and providing clinical pathology and toxicology tests used in research by the government and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Following graduation, Dr. Loeb began a career in academia, culminating in his service as an associate professor in the Department of Pathology at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also served for a period as director of the Clinical Pathology Laboratory. In 1970, he joined Litton Bionetics in Kensington, Maryland, overseeing the clinical laboratory and supporting research efforts at the National Institutes of Health and toxicology studies for Food and Drug Administration applications. Dr. Loeb went on to co-found Ani Lytics in 1988.
A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, he co-edited the first and second editions of the textbook “The Clinical Chemistry of Laboratory Animals.” Dr. Loeb served as a councilor for the ACVP, was a past president of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, and was a past chair of the Division of Animal Clinical Chemistry in the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. He received several honors, including the Barbara Jean Thompson Award for Service to the Charles Louis Davis Foundation for the Advancement of Veterinary and Comparative Pathology in 1994 and the AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Clinical Chemistry in 1997. In 2005, the ACVP recognized Dr. Loeb as a Distinguished Member.
He is survived by his four children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to National Public Radio, P.O. Box 791490, Baltimore, MD 21279, or to the Canavan Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating at-risk populations about Canavan disease and other Jewish genetic diseases and the reproductive options available to carrier couples, and sent to 600 West 111th St., 8A, New York, NY 10024.
Dr. Marohn (Virginia-Maryland ‘00), 45, La Plata, Maryland, died Dec. 20, 2020. Following graduation, she served three years in the Army Veterinary Corps. Dr. Marohn subsequently earned her law degree from Georgetown University before establishing At Home Animal Care, a house call practice. She was active with social justice causes via political and grassroots activism.
Dr. Marohn is survived by her husband, Sean; a daughter; her parents; and a brother. Memorials may be made to the Carter Marohn-Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 6715, Annapolis, MD 21401, cartermjscholarship.com; Port Tobacco River Conservancy, P.O. Box 104, Port Tobacco, MD 20677, porttobaccoriver.org; Ladles of Love Soup Kitchen, c/o The Arnold House, 3444 Rockefeller Court, Waldorf, MD 20602, thearnoldhouse.org/ladles-of-love; or Not One More Vet, nomv.org.
PETER K. MARTIN
Dr. Martin (Texas A&M ‘84), 66, Giddings, Texas, died Sept. 12, 2020. He was a mixed animal practitioner. Dr. Martin is survived by his wife, Janet; a daughter and two sons; five grandchildren; a great-grandchild; his mother; and a brother and a sister.
THOMAS C. MCCHESNEY
Dr. McChesney (Colorado State ‘44), 96, Fort Collins, Colorado, died Dec. 29, 2020. Following graduation, he joined the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of colonel. During his military service, Dr. McChesney served in Korea and Vietnam and was awarded the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and two Oak Leaf clusters. In the mid-1970s, he joined the Arkansas Department of Health as director of the state meat inspection program. In 1980, Dr. McChesney became chief of veterinary public health. He was named state epidemiologist in 1985.
In 2003, the Arkansas VMA honored Dr. McChesney with an Outstanding Service Award. He is survived by a daughter, Dr. Sharon McChesney Gillette (Colorado State ‘95), who works at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a brother, Dr. John H. McChesney (Colorado State ‘43), who formerly practiced in South Lake Tahoe, California. A daughter-in-law, Dr. Connie Van Meter (Colorado State ‘80), is a mixed animal veterinarian. A late son, Dr. Thomas S. McChesney (Colorado State ‘81) and two late brothers, Drs. Arthur C. McChesney (Colorado State ‘43) and Albert McChesney (Colorado State ‘47), were also veterinarians.
Memorials, toward the DVM Class of 1944 Scholarship Endowment 42515, may be made to Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Fort Collins, CO 80523, advancing.colostate.edu/give.
WILLIAM B. MORGAN
Dr. Morgan (Georgia ‘88), 57, Statesboro, Georgia, died Nov. 16, 2020. He co-owned Statesboro Bulloch Regional Veterinary Hospital since 2008. Prior to that, Dr. Morgan owned Statesboro Animal Hospital for 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Amy Deal; a son and two daughters; and two sisters. Memorials may be made to Dayspring Walk to Emmaus, c/o Leslie Akins, P.O. Box 1312, Statesboro, GA 30458, or Nevils Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Tessa Martin, 2000 Fronies Circle, Brooklet, GA 30415.
ART J. QUINN
Dr. Quinn (Kansas State ‘61), 84, Sand Springs, Oklahoma, died Aug. 29, 2020. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, he was a professor emeritus at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine since 1995.
Following graduation, Dr. Quinn practiced mixed animal medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico, until 1975. During that period, he also spent time as a field representative for the American Animal Hospital Association and served as a captain in the Army.
In 1975, Dr. Quinn joined the veterinary faculty at Oklahoma State University, where he taught and served as director of the Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital. During his career, he also frequently lectured at the University of Prince Edward Island, Mississippi State University, and St. George's University. In retirement, Dr. Quinn served as a guest veterinarian to conduct eye clinics at dog shows in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and Arkansas.
He was a past president of what was known as the American Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology and of the Albuquerque VMA. Dr. Quinn received the ASVO Distinguished Service Award in 1986. In 1993, he was recognized with the AAHA Outstanding Service Award. In 2002, the Western Veterinary Conference honored Dr. Quinn with a Meritorious Service Award. He received the Marquis Who's Who Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
Dr. Quinn is survived by his life partner, Rosalee Stafford; her daughter, son, and three grandchildren; and a sister.
GERALD M. ROSEN
Dr. Rosen (Minnesota ‘57), 88, Glendale, Wisconsin, died Dec. 5, 2020. Following graduation, he established Park Pet Hospital in Milwaukee, where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement in 2002. Dr. Rosen was a past chair of the Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board and a past president of the Wisconsin VMA and Wisconsin Humane Society. His wife, Anne; two sons and two daughters; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandchild survive him. Memorials may be made to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173, or Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, 6880 N. Green Bay Ave., Glendale, WI 53209.
GERALD L. VAN HOOSIER JR.
Dr. Van Hoosier (Texas A&M ‘57), 86, Seattle, died Nov. 18, 2020. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Public Health Service and began a career in research at the National Institutes of Health, focusing on polio vaccines. Dr. Van Hoosier subsequently served on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine and the veterinary faculty of Washington State University, where he directed the WSU Laboratory Animal Resources program from 1969-75. He then became the founding chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine at the University of Washington, retiring from the university in 1995 as a professor emeritus of comparative medicine.
Dr. Van Hoosier was a diplomate and a past president of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. He was also a past president of the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science, was a past chair of the board of trustees of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, and served on the governing board of the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science from 1995-99. Dr. Van Hoosier co-edited the textbook “Laboratory Hamsters” and Volumes II and III of “Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science.” He received several honors, including the AALAS Griffin Award, ACLAM's Nathan R. Brewer Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Dr. Van Hoosier is survived by his wife, Marlene; two sons; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a brother, Dr. William L. Van Hoosier (Texas A&M ‘68), a veterinarian in Dalworthington Gardens, Texas.
Please report the death of a veterinarian promptly to the JAVMA News staff via a toll-free phone call at 800-248-2862, ext. 6754; email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or fax at 847-925-9329.
For an obituary to be published, JAVMA must be notified within six months of the date of death.