New York veterinarian stars in documentary


Short film highlights scope of John Charos' contributions to profession, community.

The life of a veterinarian is the subject of a new documentary New York Vet.

John Charos, DVM, president and CEO of Central Veterinary Associates in Nassau County, New York, stars in the short film directed by Megumi Smiros. Smiros began the project as a Hofstra University student.

“I was originally planning to make a documentary about an animal emergency clinic,” Smiros says in a hospital release. “Then I found information about Dr. Charos. I visited the clinic and left him a message. He gave me a call and said that he was willing to be the subject of my film.”

Dr. John Charos (left), Patti Charos (center), Megumi Smiros and Roy Gross, chief of department for the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Law Enforcement Division, attend a screening of the film.“I was amazed at the job she did,” Charos tells dvm360. “We all as veterinarians take for granted the work that we get to do every day. It's not the norm of what people expect of the profession.”

New York Vet follows Charos as he interacts with his team, clients and patients. It also details his efforts as a volunteer investigator for the Suffolk County and Nassau County Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Nassau County Police Department.

Charos says audience feedback suggests the film is insightful for viewers. “It was the work that we do behind the scenes, the work that we do every day and the giving back to the community,” Charos says. “One of the things that would be in my heart is to get out there the cruelty that takes place with animals, with the cockfighting and the pit-bull fighting.”

The film addresses the difficult emotions those in the profession experience. Patti, Charos' wife, describes conversations with her husband after he participates in raids on sites of animal abuse. Charos is frank about the emotional burdens the profession can impose, and he emphasizes that veterinary professionals need to balance work with their personal lives.    

The documentary also details how Charos spent seven weeks at Ground Zero in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Charos helped treat more than 400 search and rescue dogs that were suffering from fatigue, burns, cuts and debris in their eyes and ears.

For the first time in more than a decade, Charos reviewed photos of himself working in the aftermath. It was a bittersweet experience because of his memories of the good that was done and the reality that some of his clients lost loved ones in the attacks, he says.

New York Vet has been submitted to film festivals. 

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