Group of awards spotlights commitment to animal welfare

AVMA Awards Rewarding Excellence - Showcasing Veterinary Knowledge Nominations Due Feb. 15Three AVMA Excellence Awards recognizing achievements in animal welfare and human-animal interaction have been joined under a new umbrella to help support and showcase veterinarians’ commitment to animal welfare.

The AVMA Animal Welfare/Humane Awards comprise three of the most prestigious honors presented in veterinary medicine: the Bustad Companion Animal of the Year Award, the AVMA Animal Welfare Award, and the AVMA Humane Award. They have in common a focus on animal welfare and human-animal interactions, and serve to celebrate the profession’s leadership in animal care and the work we do to improve the lives of both animals and people. The awards are made possible through the generous support of Merck Animal Health.

Fittingly, the winners of these awards will be announced in May during National Pet Week, an annual celebration of the bond between pet owners and their beloved animal companions. They also will be presented together for the first time in more than 30 years, during a celebration at AVMA Convention 2018 this summer in Denver.

With Merck Animal Health’s backing,  a travel stipend will be provided for each award winner to attend AVMA Convention 2018, along with an honorarium to support a program or organization working in the winner’s field of interest.

Nominations are being sought through Feb. 15 for all three awards, as well as the other AVMA Excellence Awards.

Joining these three awards under a single effort “allows us to highlight the diversity that these fields encompass and create a unique showcase of the best that veterinary medicine has to offer,” said AVMA President Mike Topper. The combined initiative will also serve to emphasize “the importance and value of a ‘One Health’ perspective,” he said.

The AVMA Animal Welfare/Humane Awards are:

  • The Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in preserving and protecting human-animal relationships. It is named in honor of the late Leo K. Bustad, an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of human-animal interactions.
  • The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of his or her achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.
  • The AVMA Humane Award is presented to a non-veterinarian who has helped advance the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.

Awards criteria and nominating forms for these and the other AVMA Excellence Awards may be accessed at avma.org/awards. Nominations are due no later than Thursday, Feb. 15.

Don’t miss this opportunity to salute colleagues committed to improving animal welfare and strengthening the human-animal bond.

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