AVMA and Merck Animal Health reveal recipients of 3 prestigious veterinary awards in celebration of National Pet Week, May 6-12

Monday, May 7, 2018 General News
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Merck Animal

Health announced the winners of three of the most prestigious awards in veterinary medicine, animal welfare and the human-animal bond.

The awards—the AVMA Humane Award, the AVMA Animal Welfare Award and the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian

of the Year Award—were announced during National Pet Week, and will be presented at the 2018 AVMA Convention in Denver on Friday, July 13.

"National Pet Week celebrates the special joy that pets bring into our lives," said Dr. Mike Topper, AVMA President. "This is the perfect time to honor extraordinary veterinarians and other professionals who have dedicated their lives to advancing animal health, welfare and the human-animal bond. We owe special thanks to Merck Animal Health for their support in honoring and celebrating these amazing individuals." 

Each award winner will receive a stipend for travel and lodging to attend the AVMA Convention, July 13-17, along with an honorarium to be used for support of a current program in development or to be directed to an organizations/institution working in the winner's field of interest. 

AVMA Humane AwardAmanda Arrington, director and founder of the Pets for Life program at the Humane Society of the United States, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 AVMA Humane Award. Pets for Life has assisted 130,000 pets to date, raising awareness about the needs of pets in poverty and helping pets owners keep the pets they love in safe, forever homes.

The important work on non-veterinarians in animal welfare is recognized through the AVMA Humane Award, which is presented to someone who has helped advance the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education, research/product development and advocacy.

AVMA Animal Welfare AwardDr. T. Robert Bashara, founder of Gentle Doctor Animal Hospitals in and around Omaha, Neb., is the recipient of the 2018 AVMA Animal Welfare Award. A long-time advocate for animal welfare, Dr. Bashara has had a national presence through his work with the Doris Day Animal Foundation, serving as Day's veterinary consultant and as chief financial officer for the foundation.

The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of their achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and advocacy. By doing so, the AVMA raises public awareness of the important role veterinarians play in improving understanding of animal welfare-related science, ensuring that animal use for human purposes is conducted responsibly, and attending to and promoting animal welfare within the context of responsible animal use.

Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year AwardDr. Cynthia Otto, founder and executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, is the winner of the 2018 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award. Dr. Otto founded the Penn Vet Working Dog Center after being inspired by her work monitoring the health and behavior of urban search and rescue dogs while serving as a first responder for the 9/11 terrorism attacks.

Named in honor of the late Leo K. Bustad, an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of human-animal interactions, the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in preserving and protecting human-animal relationships.

For more information on the AVMA's Veterinary Excellence Awards program, visit avma.org/Awards.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with over 91,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

About Merck Animal HealthFor more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, wellbeing and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter at @MerckAH.

FOR MORE INFORMATIONMichael San FilippoAmerican Veterinary Medical AssociationTel: 847-285-6687Cell: 847-732-6194msanfilippo@avma.org

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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association



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