AVMA honors 3 with awards during National Pet Week
June 10, 2020
The AVMA has announced the 2020 recipients of the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award, AVMA Animal Welfare Award, and AVMA Humane Award. The Association named the winners during National Pet Week, the first full week in May.
Dr. Robin Downing (Illinois ’86) received the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award, which recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in protecting and promoting the human-animal bond.
Dr. Downing is the founder, owner, and medical director of the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management and the owner and medical director of the Windsor Veterinary Clinic, both in Windsor, Colorado. Since 2001, she has served as an affiliate faculty member at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
In 2005, Dr. Downing became a diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management. She went on to create the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and to help develop the credential of certified veterinary pain practitioner. She also is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Dr. Harry Werner (Pennsylvania ’74) received the AVMA Animal Welfare Award, which recognizes an AVMA member who has helped advance animal welfare.
Dr. Werner has served the veterinary profession for more than four decades as a solo equine practitioner in rural Connecticut and as a volunteer for several organizations, including the AVMA, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the World Equine Veterinary Association, the Right Horse Initiative, and the Unwanted Horse Coalition.
“Dr. Werner’s dedication, excellent communication skills, and the innate ability to maneuver around and through emotional and oftentimes misunderstood welfare conditions are his greatest strength,” said Dr. Tom Lenz, recipient of the 2010 AVMA Animal Welfare Award, in an AVMA announcement. “But it is his passion and sincere belief in the wellbeing of all animals that truly drove him to be the success that he is.”
Janice Siegford, PhD, received the AVMA Humane Award, which is presented to a nonveterinarian who has helped advance animal welfare.
Dr. Siegford, a professor of animal science and welfare at Michigan State University, has been instrumental in the development and success of the AVMA Animal Welfare Assessment Contest, which teaches students to assess the welfare of animals in a variety of settings using science-based methods and reasoning. She has served on the contest’s coordinating committee since 2007.
Dr. Siegford’s research and scholarship have explored noninvasive and automated measurements of behavior and welfare in pigs, poultry, and cattle, as well as social behaviors in group-housed pigs and heritability of those behaviors. She has mentored graduate and undergraduate researchers and developed curricula and courses in animal behavior and welfare.