By David Kirkpatrick, AVMA@Work editor
Editor’s Note: This item was originally posted on April 3, 2014. It has been updated to reflect new attendance totals.
Animal Connections: Our Journey Together, a traveling exhibit that celebrates the human-animal bond and the critical role veterinarians play in animals’ lives, is making quite an impression as it continues its 2014 national tour.
More than 16,000 visitors have enjoyed Animal Connections so far this year, surpassing last year’s total of 15,000. The 1,000-square-foot exhibit, which is housed in an expandable semitrailer, was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service to mark the 150th anniversary of the AVMA in 2013 and is made possible through the generous support of founding sponsor Zoetis Inc. and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. The exhibit began its 2013 tour at the AVMA Annual Convention in July.
After a stop in Greenville, S.C., that was covered by the local Fox affiliate, the exhibit stopped at the annual open house at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. It then headed off for an extended stay at the Purina Farms Event Center in Missouri for the American Pointer Club Nationals competition. After pulling out of the Show Me State, the exhibit headed to the Phoenix area and, following a short hiatus for Easter, continues on to Costa Mesa, Calif., for the America’s Family Pet Expo, which is geared toward the pet-owning public and is dubbed “The world’s largest pet and pet products expo.”
I had the pleasure as an AVMA staff member to serve as a guide when the exhibit made its recent stop at the annual American Animal Hospital Association meeting last month in Nashville, Tenn., where more than 1,500 guests visited the exhibit. It was a joy to hear visitors talk about how much they enjoyed themselves and appreciated the exhibit’s focus on both animals and veterinarians. The compliments, to me, were proof that Animal Connections is achieving its goal of educating, engaging and inspiring visitors of all ages.
Make sure to visit Animal Connections when it makes a stop near you, and tell your friends, family and clients to stop by too. It’s a great testament to the animals in our lives and to the talented, dedicated veterinarians who take such good care of them.