Auxiliary promotes National Pet Week

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The Auxiliary to the AVMA will spread the message “Celebrate a Healthy Pet” for National Pet Week 2014, May 4-10.

2014 National Pet Week posterThe AVMA and AVMA Auxiliary created National Pet Week in 1981 to foster responsible pet ownership, recognize the human-animal bond, and increase public awareness of veterinary medicine.

The Auxiliary held its annual poster and writing contests in early 2013 to generate promotional materials for National Pet Week 2014.

Mailani Wendt of Kapolei, Hawaii, was in eighth grade when she submitted the accompanying drawing that won the poster contest. Isha Patel of Rome, Ga., was in fourth grade when she submitted the following poem that won the writing contest.

The “Celebrate a Healthy Pet” poster is available to order by calling the Auxiliary at (800) 248-2862, ext. 6747.

The Auxiliary is seeking entries for the poster and creative writing contests for National Pet Week 2015. “Adopt a Pet—A Promise of Love” will be the theme. May 9 is the postmark deadline for entries. The contests are open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Details and entry forms are available by contacting the Auxiliary at auxiliarykrittersatyahoo [dot] com (auxiliarykritters[at]yahoo[dot]com) or (800) 248-2862, ext. 6747.


I told my mom I want a dog,
She told me it will take a lot of work.
I would have to take her for a jog,
I said to my mom, having a dog has some perks.

When I get my dog I will name her Annie.
My sister and I will take her across the street,
To play with a dog name Manny.
Annie will put her paw out to Manny to greet.

To have a healthy and happy pet,
I will do my best to give it love and care,
If she gets sick I’d take her to the vet,
And for exercise play fetch.

My mom told me that it takes a lot of work to have a pet,
But I am ready for all of it.
Since in my dreams I met,
Annie my pet.

Auxiliary finding new purpose

The purpose of the Auxiliary to the AVMA is “to assist the Profession in informing the public of the value of Veterinary Services in Practice, Education and Research, Public Health, and other fields of endeavor.”

So state the amended bylaws of an old organization. A group of veterinarians’ wives founded the Auxiliary in 1917. Membership peaked at more than 10,000 in 1971.

Greg Mooney, Auxiliary president, said changes in the demographics of the veterinary profession have led to the membership dropping below 1,000—mostly veterinarians’ spouses, along with some other relatives and supporters. He said the Auxiliary is looking forward to its centennial in 2017.

The Auxiliary regrouped last summer with the adoption of the amended bylaws as well as transformation of its student loan fund into a scholarship fund under the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (see JAVMA, Sept. 15, 2013).

The previous bylaws provided for a house of delegates with representatives from state auxiliaries, Mooney said. Few states still have auxiliaries, however. The amended bylaws give a vote to each member.

Mooney said about one-third of the members pay dues and two-thirds are life members—longtime members who do not pay dues but many of whom make donations and serve the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary continues to seek new members, and a few student chapters of the AVMA still have auxiliaries. The AVMA Auxiliary also continues to raise money through its Kritters Korner gift shop at the Western Veterinary Conference and AVMA Annual Convention.

For almost a century, Mooney said, the ongoing activities of the Auxiliary have been to promote and support the AVMA, assist veterinary students, and “strengthen the bonds of friendship among those connected to the veterinary profession.”

Information about the Auxiliary is available by emailing auxiliarykrittersatyahoo [dot] com (auxiliarykritters[at]yahoo[dot]com) or calling (800) 248-2862, ext. 6747.