The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Merck Animal Health announced the winners of the AVMA Humane Award, the AVMA Animal Welfare Award, and the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award, which will be presented at the 2018 AVMA Convention in Denver.
AVMA Humane Award
The AVMA Humane Award is presented to a nonveterinarian who has helped advance the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and advocacy. Amanda Arrington, director and founder of the Pets for Life program at the Humane Society of the United States, has received the 2018 AVMA Humane Award. Pets for Life has assisted 130,000 pets to date, raising awareness about the needs of pets in poverty and helping pet owners keep the pets they love in safe, forever homes.
AVMA Animal Welfare Award
The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of his or her achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and advocacy.
T. Robert Bashara, DVM, founder of Gentle Doctor Animal Hospitals in and around Omaha, Neb., has received the 2018 AVMA Animal Welfare Award. A longtime advocate for animal welfare, Dr. Bashara has served as the veterinary consultant and chief financial officer for the Doris Day Animal Foundation.
This award aims to raise public awareness of the important role veterinarians play in improving understanding of animal welfare-related science, ensuring that animal use for human purposes is conducted responsibly, and attending to and promoting animal welfare within the context of responsible animal use.
Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Named in honor of the late Leo K. Bustad, an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of human-animal interactions, the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in preserving and protecting human-animal relationships.
Cynthia Otto, DVM, Ph.D., DACVECC, founder and executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, is the winner of the 2018 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award. Dr. Otto founded the Penn Vet Working Dog Center after being inspired by her work monitoring the health and behavior of urban search and rescue dogs while serving as a first responder for the 9/11 terrorism attacks.
“National Pet Week … is the perfect time to honor extraordinary veterinarians and other professionals who have dedicated their lives to advancing animal health, welfare and the human-animal bond,” said Michael Topper, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP, AVMA president. “We owe special thanks to Merck Animal Health for their support in honoring and celebrating these amazing individuals.”
Each award winner will receive a stipend for travel and lodging to attend the AVMA convention, July 13-17, along with an honorarium to be used for support of a current program in development or to be directed to an organizations/institution working in the winner’s field of interest.
For more information about the AVMA’s Veterinary Excellence Awards program, visit avma.org/Awards.