Steve Dale receives inaugural AVMA Excellence in Veterinary Media Award

August 08, 2022

Steve Dale accepted the inaugural AVMA Excellence in Veterinary Media Award July 30 during the keynote at AVMA Convention 2022 in Philadelphia.

The AVMA established the new award to honor the achievements of an individual who has contributed to the positive visibility of the veterinary profession by raising public awareness of the important and diverse roles that veterinarians play in every facet of the health and welfare of animals, people, and the environment.

Underscoring Dale’s contributions to the profession, the award will subsequently be named the AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award.

Steve Dale
Steve Dale (Photo by Sara Beugen)

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than Steve,” said Dr. José Arce, 2021-22 AVMA president, in an announcement. “His knowledge, passion, good humor and dedication to the wellbeing of animals have made him not just a great source for animal and veterinary news, but also a pleasure to work with. For more than 30 years, Steve has been a true champion of our profession and the animals we treat. We are indebted to him for all of his contributions and his service.”

Dale, a certified animal behavior consultant, is the longtime host of two nationally syndicated radio shows—“Steve Dale’s Pet World” and “The Pet Minute”—and for over two decades the host of “Steve Dale’s Pet World” on WGN Radio in Chicago. He formerly hosted Animal Planet Radio and was a syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune, a contributing editor for USA Weekend, and a regular columnist at Cat Fancy magazine. He currently authors the internationally popular blog stevedale.tv.

Dale is also currently a writer for Catster magazine, writes for dvm360, and is a member of the dvm360 continuing education faculty. He is a columnist for the journal of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. In addition, he frequently gives talks at veterinary- and animal-related events around the world, and he has contributed to and authored several books on animal health and behavior.

In 2019, Dale’s efforts helped lead to the creation in Illinois of the country’s first fire protection law for pets in kennels. He advised former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on several companion animal issues, including creating an enhanced felony for dog fighting when near a school or playground. In Chicago, Dale created the Chicago Task Force on Companion Animals and Public Safety, active from 2000-10, which helped oppose proposals to ban certain dog breeds, mandate pediatric spay/neuter for pets, and limit the number of pets per household.

His expertise and experience in the field makes him a frequent guest on local, national, and international television, with appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “National Geographic Explorer,” “Good Morning America,” public television, Animal Planet, and more. He has served on many boards, most recently on the boards of the Human Animal Bond Association and the EveryCat Health Foundation.

This year’s award is sponsored by Fear Free Pets, which seeks to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets during veterinary visits and other situations such as training and grooming. Dale is a member of the Fear Free Advisory Council and chief correspondent of Fear Free Happy Homes.

“What I love about Steve is that while he isn’t a veterinarian he champions for animals as if he were one,” said Dr. Marty Becker, founder of Fear Free Pets, in the announcement about the award. “He exemplifies all we work for on behalf of animals and the people who care for them and this award is one small way to honor his contributions.”

A version of this article appears in the August 2022 print issue of JAVMA.