Recipient of animal welfare award is New

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At the Animal Welfare Forum, President-Elect Henry E. Childers introduced the 2004 recipient of the AVMA Animal Welfare Award—Dr. John C. New.

In Dr. Childers' words, no individual better exemplifies veterinarians' devotion to the welfare of animals than Dr. New does. "He is a leader in the profession and the community, a respected teacher, and an honored colleague. He has set an example for all of us to follow."

Dr. New is a professor of veterinary public health and chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his DVM degree from Texas A&M University in 1971. Following service as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps, he worked as a veterinary research associate at the University of Minnesota, where, in 1977, he earned his master's in public health. Then, Dr. New received an offer he couldn't refuse—an appointment at the new College of Veterinary Medicine being established at the University of Tennessee.

As a scientist, Dr. New has explored truths and myths behind dog and cat overpopulation and has helped identify aspects of pet ownership that impact pet relinquishments. His work has led to programs that successfully target human and animal causes of relinquishment, helping countless pets remain in their homes.

In his community, he has been instrumental in founding Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee, Humans and Animals Learning Together, and Humane Education and Responsible Ownership of Pets. HABIT is the oldest and largest community-based, human-animal bond organization in the country. HALT provides interventions for at-risk adolescents through dog obedience training. HERO is a consortium that promotes responsible pet ownership through education.

Dr. New is a major contributor to the research mission of the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, and formerly served on its board of directors and scientific advisory committee.

Co-chair of the AVMA Committee on the Human-Animal Bond (with Dr. Jeffrey Boehm), he inspired the Tennessee VMA's John New Human-Animal Bond Award. Dr. New is active in humane societies and many animal welfare and human-animal bond organizations. He is a Distinguished Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

In a video shown at the forum profiling Dr. New's life and work, friends and colleagues shared insights about the attributes and accomplishments that have made him a champion of animal welfare.

Dr. New said, in the video, that he looks at animal welfare as being proactive in meeting the needs of animals, but compromise is necessary because companion animals, livestock, and even wildlife live so closely with people. "In many instances, the needs of the animals take second place, and we need to do all we can to see if there are more equitable balances between the rights of society and the needs of animals."