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Memorial planned for Dr. Tony Basher


Friends and clients express sadness and appreciation for late veterinarian.

A memorial celebration is planned to honor Tony Basher, DVM, DACVO, DACVS, 54, who died Nov. 9. “Those who loved and respected Tony are welcome and encouraged to attend,” Basher’s ex-wife Kim Basher, DVM, said in an e-mail to DVM Newsmagazine.

Basher specialized in veterinary ophthalmology and general surgery. Born in Guildford, Surrey, in the U.K., Basher graduated from the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London in 1981. He went on to become board-certified in surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and in ophthalmology at Colorado State University in 1994. Basher was employed at the Royal Veterinary College in London, as a small animal veterinarian in Calgary, Canada, and as a resident at the University of Sakatoon in Saskatchewan. He subsequently became a tenured professor and clinician at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island. In 1996 he began working at The Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Basher received a number of awards and distinctions in medicine and surgery while at the Royal Veterinary College, including the Centenary Award and the Cecil Aldin award. He was published in veterinary medicine textbooks and journals and a regular speaker at professional conferences. He was a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

At the time of his death, Basher was apparently working in the Tuscon, Ariz., area and staying at a friend’s house, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. His body was found not far from where he was staying inside a Mercedes-Benz sedan that was engulfed in flames when emergency personnel arrived. The circumstances and cause of his death are still unknown.

Those who knew Basher as a colleague and peer are mourning the loss. “Basher was a respected and loved member of the ACVO (American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists) and revered by his clients in the San Diego market,” says Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, a regular dvm360.com contributor who worked with Basher while he was CEO of Eye Care for Animals. “All he ever wanted to do was make a difference in the lives of his patients and to that end he certainly succeeded. We have lost a friend and mentor to our profession.”

Kim Basher says she is thankful for all who have offered their love and support at this time. The couple lost their 14-year-old daughter, Ciannon Basher, in June. Tributes from clients have been left at legacy.com for Basher. “Words cannot express my gratitude for all that Dr. Basher did for my beloved pets,” writes Kathy MacMaster of San Diego. “He was truly one of the most compassionate and knowledgeable doctors I have ever met. This is our world’s great loss and heaven’s gain.” Sharon Haywood of Laguna Beach, Calif., wrote, “My husband and I are mourning the loss of this man who has been so kind and caring and special … I am so saddened and shocked. I have had many tears since hearing this. Many blessings and prayers to his family.”

Basher’s memorial will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Del Mar Country Club, 6001 Country Club Drive, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. Club entrance will be monitored. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to tonybashermemorial@gmail.com or to call (303) 482-2289. Names will be placed on an attendance list at the entrance gate.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Coral Reef Alliance at coral.org or to The Snow Leopard Trust at snowleopard.org.

There will be another memorial for Basher in England before his ashes are scattered in Cornwall per his wishes.

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