Award winners honored for animal welfare achievements

Published on January 17, 2017
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Awards were presented at the 2017 AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference last week to individuals who demonstrated achievements in advancing the welfare of animals and protecting the human-animal bond. These annual awards are bestowed by the AVMA to recognize the leadership and public service displayed by member veterinarians and others who have performed valuable work and shown exemplary concern for, and commitment to, the welfare and humane treatment of animals. This year’s awards were presented to Dr. Jody Sandler, Harold F. Dates and Dr. Jeanette O’Quinn.

Bustad-award-winner-SandlerDr. Jody Sandler receives 2016 AVMA Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award

Named for the late Leo K. Bustad, DVM, PhD, a former dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University and founder of the Delta Society (now Pet Partners), the AVMA Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in preserving and protecting the human-animal bond.

The AVMA was proud to present this award to Dr. Jody Sandler as recognition for his outstanding work in preserving and protecting human-animal relationships. In his role as long-time director of veterinary services for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Dr. Sandler expanded their mission to training service dogs for autistic children by creating the program Heeling Autism. As a result of the overwhelming demand for service dogs for children with autism, Dr. Sandler founded BluePath Service Dogs this year.

Dr. Sandler has long been a champion of the human-animal bond and its amazing healing properties. He was at Sandy Hook Elementary School with service dogs immediately after the tragedy there, using the human-animal bond to help the community begin to heal. Dr. Sandler has hosted externships for more than 50 veterinary students from veterinary colleges around the country. In addition, he has co-authored numerous papers with researchers from Cornell University and the San Diego Zoo.

Sandler received his DVM degree from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. He worked at Sachem Animal Hospital in Holbrook, New York before becoming Director of Veterinary Services for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  For 26 years, he was responsible for the health and well-being of over 11,000 dogs from the school.

Harold-DatesHarold F. Dates receives 2016 AVMA Humane Award

The AVMA Humane Award is given by the AVMA in an effort to encourage attention to animal welfare within the context of responsible animal use and to reward thoughtful and science-based animal welfare advocacy. Harold F. Dates, president and chief executive officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Cincinnati, received this award for his career achievements in advancing the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education and advocacy.

Dates’ pioneering work also includes:

  • Opening the first humane society-owned, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in his state
  • Promoting adoptions on live radio and television
  • Starting the Adopt-A-Pet segments on WKRC-TV in Cincinnati
  • Purchasing a mobile adoption unit
  • Helping orchestrate the rescue of dog and cat victims of Hurricane Katrina
  • Opening a new humane center and obtaining the 24-acre SPCA Simmonds Farm for agricultural education

He has received numerous awards honoring his service to animals, and has held many positions on boards and task forces focused on animal care and welfare. Dates received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Cincinnati.

OQuin-JeanetteDr. Jeanette O’Quin receives 2016 AVMA Animal Welfare Award

The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is given in the hopes of raising 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 and attending to and promoting animal welfare within the context of responsible animal use.

Dr. Jeanette O’Quin, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the 2016 Animal Welfare Award for her career achievements in advancing the welfare of shelter animals through leadership, public service, education, research and advocacy.

AVMA President Dr. Tom Meyer praised her many contributions to animal welfare, including her co-authorship of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters, which is widely used as a reference tool by shelters across the country, and her role in increasing awareness of zoonotic diseases among shelter workers, which led to the development of enhanced infection control programs to benefit animals and people.

O’Quin has published journal articles and book chapters, and presented at state, regional and national conferences on topics pertaining to infectious and zoonotic disease prevention and management, shelter animal health and welfare, humane euthanasia, animal associated occupational health, animal disaster response and animal cruelty. She received her DVM degree from The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and her Master of Public Health degree with specialization in veterinary public health from The OSU College of Public Health.

Congratulations to all the 2016 award winners announced at the Veterinary Leadership Conference, and thank you for the contributions you have made toward advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine as well as the commitment you have shown to promoting the welfare and humane treatment of animals.


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