The American Animal Hospital Association honored several individuals during the association's annual conference, this year in Long Beach, Calif., March 18-22.
Dr. Lawrence D. Eckermann (TEX '73), Houston, received the AAHA Practitioner of the Year Award. Dr. Eckermann has practiced at the Westbury Animal Hospital Inc., an AAHA-accredited practice in Houston, for more than three decades. His longstanding service to AAHA includes co-chair of the 2002 annual meeting and chair of the Standards Committee and Membership and Audit Control Committee. Dr. Eckermann is active in the Houston SPCA and Texas VMA.
Dr. Roger E. Clarke (University of Queensland '64), Melbourne, Australia, received the Royal Canin Award for his outstanding contributions that have resulted in improving the well-being of companion animals in the international veterinary community. Dr. Clarke established the Bundoora Veterinary Hospital, one of three emergency practices in Melbourne, in 1969 and has served AAHA as an international liaison and member of the Leadership Council. His international service includes conducting continuing education seminars in eight Asian countries on behalf of World Small Animal Veterinary Association and organizing animal welfare sessions for the WSAVA Annual Congress.
Dr. Georgianne A. Ludwig (IL '93), Lombard, Ill., received the Nestlé Purina Petcare Award. Dr. Ludwig received the award for her outstanding efforts to positively influence the lives of animals and people. Dr. Ludwig is the hospital director of the AAHA-accredited Lombard Veterinary Hospital. In addition to being active in the Illinois State and Chicago VMAs, she provides veterinary services for stray animals through her county's animal control organization and has provided ongoing leadership in establishing policies to shape the future of her local animal shelter.
James A. Serpell, PhD, Philadelphia, received the Hill's Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award. Dr. Serpell is the Marie A. Moore Professor of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a world-recognized authority on human-animal interactions who has authored numerous publications on animal welfare and conducted extensive research in the field of companion animal behavior.
The AAHA also recognized the efforts of the Marshall Legacy Institute, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides mine-detection dogs and mine awareness education to reduce suffering and restore hope to people in war-torn countries. The AAHA presented Rosa, a retired mine-detection dog, with a Hero Dog Award in recognition of her work and that of the Marshall Legacy.
In addition, a number of veterinarians were elected to the AAHA board of directors. They are Drs. Michael P. Andrews, Cherry Valley, Calif., president; Thomas A. Carpenter, Costa Mesa, Calif., president-elect; Anna E. Worth, Shaftsbury, Vt., vice president; and John D. Tait, Ontario, Canada, secretary-treasurer. Three new directors were welcomed to the board: Drs. Michael R. Moyer, Bensalem, Pa., Charles W. Hickey Jr., Glen Allen, Va., and Gregg K. Takashima, Lake Oswego, Ore.
The Georgia House of Representatives has commended Dr. Ralph D. King (GA '61) on his career and other achievements.
Dr. King's first office was in Rockmart in northwest Georgia. He spent weekends serving livestock sales barns and answering farm calls, and he soon opened a second office in nearby Cedartown.
Dr. King continues to provide veterinary services by filling in for practitioners. He is a supporter of the 4-H Club, and he also keeps a herd of Simmental cattle. He has been president of the Polk County Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club, as well as chairman of a hospital board.
Dr. King served in the U.S. Army from 1951-1954, including 16 months in Korea.