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Animal Advocates Rewarded With Scholarships


In addition to meeting the tremendous demands of veterinary school, these 4 standouts were awarded for their long-time dedication to animal advocacy.

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The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) has announced the winners of this year’s Compassionate Care Scholarships, which reward veterinary students who excel in their efforts to promote animal advocacy and welfare while also fulfilling their academic obligations. Three scholarships are typically awarded; this year there was a tie for third place so a fourth prize was added.

More than 40 students from veterinary schools in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean applied for the scholarships. “This year's award recipients share an extraordinary dedication to animal welfare,” said HSVMA Texas State Representative Carrie B. Waters, DVM, MS, PhD, JD, DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine). “They have demonstrated exemplary service enhancing the lives of animals, while creating innovative paths for others to follow. Their passion is inspirational.”


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And the winners are:

Jacquie Cobb: Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine

Besides fostering more than 112 animals herself, Jacquie served as executive director of the Humane Society of Henderson County, Kentucky, and started the Chicago area nonprofit Second City Canine Rescue, which adopts over 500 dogs annually.

At Auburn, Jacquie has served as president of the Veterinary Business Management Association, HSVMA student representative, national student representative of the International Veterinary Forensic Science Association, president of the Integrative Medicine Club, and treasurer of the student chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. The Student American Veterinary Medical Association recognized her with the 2018 John Pitts Award, given to a member who has displayed exemplary service to the veterinary profession.

Kelly Dulli: University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine

Working as a volunteer, certified technician, and veterinary student fuels Kelly’s passion to help community cats. During technical school, she began volunteering at Dane County Friends of Ferals (now Madison Cat Project), which works with area rescues and shelters to offer adoptions and care for feral and undersocialized cats that need extra help finding homes.

As president of the university’s HSVMA Student Chapter, Kelly organized and budgeted for several speakers, a Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) suture lab, and a spay lab. Her dedication was reflected by the popularity of the activities and the educational impact they had on the participating students.

Montana Diabo: Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Montana has made an incredible difference to the pets and people in her First Nations community of Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec. As an animal health technology student at Vanier College in Quebec, she bought together resources from school and home to set up a low cost spay/neuter clinic in Kahnawake—where more than 700 animals have been sterilized. She also started a microchip clinic, which is the only available source of health care for pets in the area.

Working in Kahnawake, she says she “will also be able to teach and bring awareness to important health issues concerning animal health, an aspect that is greatly overlooked in my community, such as the importance of sterilization, parasite prevention, and annual generalized physical exams of small and large animals.”

Renee Staffeld: Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Renee has been a Class 1 New York State-licensed wildlife rehabilitator with a rabies vector species endorsement since 2011, and works as a Veterinary Student Technician in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CUCVM) Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center. She also volunteers at the Tompkins County SPCA and was the lead veterinary assistant at the Chemung County SPCA Shelter Outreach Services clinics, a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality/high-volume spay and neuter services to the Finger Lakes region of New York in collaboration with CUCVM.

As an award-winning public speaker, Renee plans to continue advocating for animals and providing the expertise required for giving animals a voice. Currently, she is helping organize and the 2018 HSVMA Animal Welfare Symposium at Cornell University CVM in October.

For more information or to apply for a 2019 HSVMA Compassionate Care Scholarship, email students@hsvma.org.

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