AVMA recognizes three for work in human-animal bond and welfare
The AVMA presented three awards July 29 at AVMA Convention 2022 in Philadelphia to recognize work with the human-animal bond and animal welfare.
The Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding work of an AVMA member in preserving and protecting the human-animal bond. The AVMA Animal Welfare Award and AVMA Humane Award recognize an AVMA member and a nonveterinarian, respectively, for achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research, product development, or advocacy.
The AVMA announced the winners ahead of the convention during National Pet Week, May 1-7. All three awards are supported through educational funding from Merck Animal Health. In connection with the awards, the recipients spoke the same day at the convention.
Dr. Dani McVety-Leinen received the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award. Dr. McVety-Leinen (Florida ’09) is the founder and CEO of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, a service dedicated to making the end-of-life experience for pets and the people that love them as dignified and peaceful as possible. Lap of Love has visited the homes of nearly 500,000 families and is now a nationwide network of more than 250 veterinarians and a full-time interdisciplinary support staff. Dr. McVety-Leinen frequently writes and speaks for veterinary professionals, pre-professionals, and lay audiences around the country and internationally. Dr. McVety and Lap of Love have been featured on numerous local, national, and professional media outlets.
Dr. Patricia V. Turner received the AVMA Animal Welfare Award. Dr. Turner (Guelph ’92) is a laboratory animal veterinarian who works as corporate vice president for global animal welfare at Charles River Laboratories. She is responsible for assessing welfare risks and developing animal welfare policy and related training for the company’s sites around the world. Dr. Turner is also a professor emerita at the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College, where she worked previously as a professor in the Department of Pathobiology, overseeing teaching and graduate programs in laboratory animal science and animal welfare. Her current research interests include optimizing behavioral management programs for research animals, refining pain recognition and mitigation, and compassion science for laboratory animal professionals. Dr. Turner is the immediate past president of the World Veterinary Association.
Suzanne Millman, PhD, received the AVMA Humane Award. Dr. Milliman earned her doctorate in applied ethology, the study of animal behavior, in 2000 from the University of Guelph. She is a professor at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine and in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Her research interests include understanding behavioral responses of animals to states of pain and illness, refining techniques for on-farm animal welfare assessment, and identifying practical interventions to enhance animal welfare in production environments. Dr. Millman coordinates animal welfare instruction within the veterinary curriculum and provides professional outreach services in animal behavior and animal welfare, including to the World Organisation for Animal Health, HyLine International, United Egg Producers, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Farm Animal Care, and the Iowa VMA.
A version of this article appears in the August 2022 print issue of JAVMA.