You’d think being a renowned veterinary cardiologist and discovering the cause and cure for a fatal heart disease in cats would be enough for one lifetime. Not for Paul D. Pion. In 1991, Dr. Pion began building bridges among notoriously competitive vets through the Veterinary Information Network. With more than 42,000 participating colleagues, scores of databases, message boards, conference rooms, et cetera, et cetera, VIN is considered by many to be the most comprehensive online resource for and by veterinarians.
When he wrote Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets, leading gastroenterologist Donald Strombeck created a first-of-its kind volume on alternatives to commercial pet food and made canine nutrition understandable to the general public. m
The experience, common sense and insider knowledge that made Marion Nestle the go-to expert on dietary policy for humans reached the dog dish with her compelling investigation of the 2007 recalls in Pet Food Politics.
Clarence Rawlings led a team of researchers at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in adapting minimally invasive surgical techniques for use with companion animals, reducing traditional surgical complications and improving outcomes.
Each one standing for many, these individuals and thousands like them manifest a spirit that inspires people to go beyond the ordinary on behalf of dogs.
As science demonstrates continuities between humans and other species, law professor Steven Wise addresses their legal implications. In groundbreaking books, he challenges the “animals as property” notion and argues for incremental recognition of their separate interests.
On the front lines of animal welfare since 1980, Jeff Dorson has been known to risk his life undercover. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he and the Louisiana Humane Society he helped create rescued some 1,700 pets from the floodwaters.
When Rachel McPherson began producing a therapy dog documentary, she fell in love with her subject, turned off the cameras and created The Good Dog Foundation instead. McPherson’s nonprofit promotes these furry miracle workers, as well as providing training, certification and support. After 9/11, Good Dog teams came to the aid of families of victims, survivors and rescue workers. Based on that model, Good Dog created a disaster response course, and was deployed for families in need in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Jana Brunner has a passion for shelter pets and volunteers as many as 40 hours a week to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, taking photos to post on Petfinder.com, designing and managing their website, creating promotional materials, organizing offsite adoption events and supporting HSGKC financially. She’s been at this for 14 years, and her efforts have saved thousands.
Retired biology professor Charles L. “Bud” Kramer shook up the AKC’s Obedience regime—unchanged since 1937—by originating the livelier, freestyle Rally Obedience, as a club-sanctioned answer to the Agility boom.
Search and Rescue
Retired teacher Wilma Melville founded the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which has exponentially increased the supply of FEMA-certified SAR dogs, many of whom were themselves rescued from shelters.