Sled-racing enthusiast Dr. Timothy A. Hunt takes the prize
By Malinda Larkin
Posted Oct. 15, 2014
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has named Dr. Timothy A. Hunt of Bayshore Veterinary Clinic in Marquette, Michigan, the 2014 winner of the America’s Favorite Veterinarian contest. The announcement was made Sept. 30 via this site.
|| Dr. Timothy A. Hunt (Courtesy of Dr. Timothy A. Hunt)
Client Kris Mitchell, who nominated Dr. Hunt, said she recommended him because he performed a cesarean section on her mother’s Bulldog one Christmas morning.
“He has come into his office for us at all times, day or night,” Mitchell said. “He has saved many of my dogs’ lives, and he has mourned with us when the time has come for them to pass. He truly loves all animals, and my dogs love him and his staff.”
The America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest began in 2013 to celebrate the special relationship pet owners share with their veterinarians. Dr. Carlos Campos won the inaugural award after being selected by an AVMF-appointed committee whose members sifted through more than 1,100 submissions.
This year, the contest launched in May, and 20 finalists were chosen by an AVMF committee. Beginning in late July, the public was invited to vote to select the winner. The 20 finalists brought in over 86,000 votes from across the country, with Dr. Hunt receiving more than 12,000 votes to secure the title.
“It’s humbling to think our community, clients, and friends rallied and showed support in a way I never expected. Being recognized as a veterinarian in this way is truly heartwarming, and I simply cannot put into words how touched I am by this honor,” Dr. Hunt was quoted saying on the contest website in reaction to being named America’s Favorite Veterinarian.
Dr. Hunt is a Detroit native who discovered his love of veterinary medicine when he began working in a veterinary hospital as a kennel assistant at age 14. He earned his DVM degree from Michigan State University in 1989. Dr. Hunt established Bayshore Veterinary Clinic in 1993 in Marquette, a small town of 20,000 people. The practice now employs 15 people.
In addition to his work as a small animal veterinarian, Dr. Hunt has served three times as a veterinarian volunteer in Alaska for the Iditarod sled dog race and founded the Alaska Veterinary Rural Program, where he conducts spay-neuter clinics and provides veterinary care in impoverished villages. Dr. Hunt has also raced his own sled dogs over the past 18 years in various parts of the world, including the French Alps, Alaska for the Iditarod, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the UP 200 numerous times.
Dr. Hunt believes veterinarians can be influential among families with pets by teaching children the importance of treating animals in a kind and humane way. “We are part of their family. We are given the ability to treat the animals that they love, and the gratification of a success, be it surgical, medical, or behavioral, is more rewarding than any payment I can imagine,” he said.
Dr. Hunt and his wife, Mary, live on 50 acres outside of town with four house cats, two house dogs—a standard Poodle and a three-legged German Shorthaired Pointer—and 35 Alaskan Huskies.
As America’s Favorite Veterinarian, Dr. Hunt will receive a $500 cash prize, a trip to the 2015 AVMA Annual Convention in Boston, a feature article on the AVMF website, and a community celebration at his clinic for staff and clients. Nominator Kris Mitchell will receive an animal lover’s gift pack.