Bustad award goes to behaviorist

Published on August 21, 2013
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Dr. Benjamin L. Hart has devoted his career of more than half a century in academia to the areas of animal behavior and the human-animal bond.

Dr. Hart
Dr. Benjamin L. Hart

During the July 19 opening session of the AVMA Annual Convention, Dr. Hart received the 2013 Bustad Companion Animal Practitioner of the Year Award for his efforts to support the human-animal bond. The AVMA and Hill’s Pet Nutrition co-sponsor the Bustad award with Pet Partners, formerly the Delta Society, which seeks to improve human health through therapy and service animals.

Dr. Hart developed an interest in animal behavior as a veterinary student. He earned his veterinary degree in 1960 and a doctorate in 1964, both from the University of Minnesota. He joined the faculty of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he is now a professor emeritus.

Dr. Hart has been a researcher, author, educator, mentor, lecturer, and collaborator. He was instrumental in development of the Companion Animal Behavior Program at UC-Davis. He is a founding member of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and the International Society of Anthrozoology.