AVMA Animal Welfare Award

Animal Welfare/Humane Awards are generously funded by Merck Animal Health.

Nomination Form

The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of their achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy. By doing so, the AVMA raises public awareness of the important role veterinarians play in:

  • Improving understanding of animal welfare-related science and ethics
  • Ensuring that animal use for human purposes is conducted responsibly
  • Attending to and promoting animal welfare within the context of responsible animal use


  • Veterinarians nominated for the Animal Welfare Award must be AVMA members.
  • Nominations may be submitted by:
    • Individuals 18 years or older (AVMA members and non-members) and
    • Organizations (governmental and nongovernmental)
  • Nominations must reflect specific accomplishments in the field of animal welfare, as opposed to examples of quality veterinary practice or promotion of the human-animal bond. The latter, while laudable, are not the focus of this award. Visit the complete list of AVMA Excellence Awards for information on other awards.
  • Nominations may be based on a sustained effort or an extraordinary single achievement in any or all of the following areas:
    • Leadership
    • Public service (e.g., community programs, public policy development)
    • Research and/or product development
    • Education
    • Advocacy
  • Recipients must be available and willing to attend a presentation ceremony and participate in other recognition activities.

Supporting Material

  • Each nomination must include:
    • A completed nomination form
    • A copy of the nominee's curriculum vitae/resume (not to exceed two double-sided typed pages)
    • A detailed letter of nomination (not to exceed three single-sided typed pages), which describes how the nominee has met the award criteria
  • Each nomination may also include up to three letters of support for the nomination (not to exceed three single-sided typed pages each) from colleagues, clients, or organizations.

Selection Process

  • The Animal Welfare Committee selects the recipient of the Animal Welfare Award.
  • Preference is given to nominees who:
    • Recognize that science, ethics, and culture all contribute to how animals are used and cared for by people, and respect those contributions in arriving at solutions to animal welfare challenges
    • Work with a variety of stakeholders to raise awareness of issues of concern and engage those stakeholders in seeking solutions to challenges
    • Work actively to improve understanding of animal welfare needs and, when necessary, change human attitudes and behavior to ensure proper stewardship
    • Communicate information about, and propose solutions to, animal welfare challenges with courage and integrity
  • At the discretion of the AVMA Board of Directors, an award may not be presented in any given year.

Nominations should be sent to AVMA Excellence Awards, AVMA Animal Welfare Award, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Rd, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173, or to avma-awardsatavma [dot] org. For further information on animal welfare awards and other activities please visit the Animal Welfare section of this website.

Questions? Email avma-awardsatavma [dot] org.

Animal Welfare/Humane Awards are generously funded by Merck Animal Health.

Merck Animal Health


2019 Dr. Joanne Paul-Murphy
2018 Dr. T. Robert Bashara
2017 Dr. Johann Coetzee
2016 Dr. Jeanette O'Quin, OH
2015 Dr. Jose Peralta, CA
2014 Dr. B. Taylor Bennett, IL
2013 Dr. Leslie D. Appel, NY
2012 Dr. Philip A. Bushby, MS
2011 Dr. Jan Shearer, IA
2010 Dr. Thomas Lenz, KS
2009 Dr. Kathryn Bayne, MD
2008 Dr. Lila Miller, New York, NY
2007 Dr. James Reynolds, Tulare, CA
2006 Dr. John Madigan, Davis, CA
2005 Dr. Ilona Rodan, Madison, WI
2004 Dr. John New, Knoxville, TN
2003 Dr. Franklin M. Loew, Cambridge, MA
2002 Dr. Murray E. Fowler, Davis, CA