The American Veterinary Medical Association’s annual convention kicks off this Saturday, July 31 in Atlanta, Ga., and runs through Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010. More than 9,000 veterinary professionals and their guests are expected to attend.
Program session hot topics will include animal welfare, stem cell therapy, public health, food safety, disaster response, complementary therapies, behavior modification, trends in pet ownership and health and advances in veterinary medicine. The program will also include special topics such as the effects of rabies in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake and melamine contamination in foods for animals and people.
Convention attendees will also have access to more than 250 companies and organizations in the 185,500-square-foot exhibit hall. The exhibitors will be showcasing high-tech surgical instruments; the latest toys and exercise equipment for household pets; pet food, treats and frozen yogurts for dogs; pet identification aids; and educational materials; among other veterinary-related products.
The exhibit hall is open from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, Aug. 1; and from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2.
The AVMA convention is also a time to give back. Nearly 100 veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other attendees will volunteer their time on Saturday, July 31 to help refurbish local animal facilities.
Known as “Our Oath in Action,” the event will be funded and overseen by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, the charitable arm of the AVMA. Previous events took place near AVMA Annual Convention sites in Seattle and New Orleans.
The volunteers will power wash dog runs and paint an adoption room at Fulton County Animal Shelter in Atlanta, and dismantle, paint and re-assemble dog cages, clean and paint various rooms, and clear brush for an outside dog run at Our Pal’s Place in Marietta.
“The foundation is delighted to embrace these facilities, as our mission is all about promoting the health and welfare of animals,” said Michael Cathey, director of the AVMF.
The AVMA and AVMF will also be hosting “Trails for Tails,” a 5K Run/Walk event on Sunday, Aug. 1 at 7:30 a.m. at Centennial Olympic Park. The event, which is open to the public, is raising funds for animal welfare programs and the local animal shelter PAWS Atlanta.
Prizes will be given to the top three male and female finishers in four age groups. Race registration includes a commemorative T-shirt, goodie bag, refreshments, awards and raffle prizes.
“Making a difference in the lives of people and animals is the reason we chose the veterinary profession,” said Ron DeHaven, DVM, chief executive officer of AVMA. “Whether it is in practice, at home or even during a continuing education conference, improving animal and public health and welfare is essential to us. Knowing that Atlanta shares our passion for animals, we have expanded what used to be ‘AVMA’ 5K run into a community event.”
For details, including registration information, on the 5K event, visit www.active.com and use keyword “AVMA.”
For details on how to get involved in other AVMF programs, visit www.avmf.org.
For convention details, visit www.avmaconvention.org.