Three accomplished veterinary and animal science professionals have been chosen as recipients of AVMA Excellence Awards for support of the human-animal bond or their accomplishments in animal welfare. Please join us in congratulating these award winners:
- Dr. Robin Downing: 2020 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year
- Dr. Harry Werner: AVMA Animal Welfare Award winner
- Janice Siegford, Ph.D., AVMA Humane Award winner
Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
The Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award is one of veterinary medicine’s highest honors, recognizing the outstanding work of veterinarians in protecting and promoting the human-animal bond. It’s named for the late Dr. Leo K. Bustad, former president of the Delta Society and dean of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Dr. Downing’s career has been devoted to improving the health of animals and in turn strengthening and prolonging the special bond between people and animals,“ said Dr. Peter W. Hellyer, professor of veterinary anesthesiology at Colorado State University, who nominated her for the award. He described Dr. Downing as “a tireless advocate for her patients, partnering with her clients to enhance the quality of life of their pets and extending the amount of time they have to enjoy their special relationship.
Dr. Downing is the owner and medical director of the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management and the Windsor Veterinary Clinic, both in Windsor, Colo., and an affiliate faculty member at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and in 2005 she became only the third veterinarian in the world to be credentialed as a diplomate in the American Academy of Pain Management. She went on to create the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and help develop the credential of Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner.
Animal Welfare Award
The AVMA Animal Welfare Award and AVMA Humane Award honor achievements in animal welfare by a veterinarian and a non-veterinarian, respectively.
A leading animal welfare authority, Dr. Werner has served the veterinary profession for more than four decades as an equine practitioner in rural Connecticut and as a volunteer for several national and international organizations, including the AVMA and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Among other positions, he has served as the AAEP representative to the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee and represented the AVMA and AAEP on the Unwanted Horse Coalition.
He was elected to the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame in 2013, awarded the AAEP’s Distinguished Life Member Award in 2017, and named Veterinarian of the Year by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association in 2015.
Animal Humane Award
Janice Siegford, Ph.D., is a professor of animal science and welfare at Michigan State University and has been instrumental in the development and success of the AVMA Animal Welfare Assessment Contest. She has served on the contest’s coordinating committee since 2007.
Her research and scholarship have explored non-invasive and automated measurements of behavior and welfare in pigs, poultry and cattle, as well as social behaviors in group-housed pigs and their heritability. As a professor, she has mentored scores of graduate and undergraduate researchers, and developed curricula and courses in animal behavior and welfare.
More about the winners and awards
The award recipients were announced this week in conjunction with National Pet Week®, which honors the special relationship between people and their pets and encourages responsible pet ownership and care. The three awards are funded by Merck Animal Health.
These press releases provide more information about all three award winners: