Pets and Vets: Animal health news state by state


A look at the world of animal health from Alabama to Oregon


After receiving complaints about packs of dogs that run around the city, the city of Wilsonville, Ala., and the Shelby Humane Society partnered to offer low-cost rabies, feline and canine vaccination packages, free microchipping and free identification tags, as well as low- to no-cost spay and neuter surgeries, according to the Shelby County Reporter.

However, after objections from local veterinarian Charles Thornburg, DVM, and the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, the humane society changed the program to eliminate standard annual exams and microchipping and include only rabies vaccinations.

Thornburg told the Reporter he thought the humane society and the veterinarian who was to give the vaccinations, Rhonda Ellison, DVM, were operating in violation of the Alabama veterinary practice act.

District of Columbia

Three veterinarians have been named to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Congressional Fellowship Program, according to an association release. Elise Ackley, DVM, from Shreveport, La., Chase Crawford, DVM, from Houston, Texas, and Carolyn La Jeunesse, DVM, from Port Orchard, Wash., will serve for one year beginning in August 2014 as scientific advisors to Congress. They’ll use their veterinary expertise to shape legislation and regulations that affect animal and public health and the future of veterinary medicine, according to the release.

The doctors will serve in an office or on a committee where they’ll advise policymakers on legislation.

Ackley is a 2014 graduate of Louisiana State University. During her time at LSU she worked for congressional offices and regulatory offices including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, according to the AVMA release. Crawford is a 2014 graduate of Texas A&M University. As a student, he focused on issues related to the One Health concept and has worked with the United Nations and WHO.

La Jeunesse, is a 1983 graduate of the University of California-Davis, according to the release. She primarily practices in small animal emergency and critical care. She also writes and consults on career development, professional wellness, biomedical ethics among others. La Jeunesse is also a past president of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association.


Edward Dunham, DVM, of Palmetto, Fla., was arrested in his home and charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, according to the Manatee County sheriff’s office. Dunham is listed as the director of veterinary medicine for Napier’s Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary. The charge involves nine dogs, five horses and one cat and stems from the execution of a search warrant at the sanctuary that occurred in February.

At the time of the search, officers removed more than 300 dogs, cats, pigs and horses from the property. The owners of the sanctuary, Alan and Sheree Napier, have also been charged with 15 counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Alan has been charged with one count of fraud as well.

The investigation is currently ongoing and additional charges are possible, according to the sheriff’s office. A trial for Dunham has been set for October 2014, according to the Bradenton (Fla.) Herald. A date for the Napiers’ trial has not been set, but they will likely be tried together.

New York

Two college of veterinary medicine students at Cornell University have received awards form the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA), according to a university release. The awards are given to those who embody the HSVMA’s mission to protect and advocate for the welfare of animals and promote and support a more humane veterinary profession.

The HSVMA’s Veterinary Student Advocacy Award was given to Michelle White for founding an HSVMA student chapter at Cornell, volunteering with local animal welfare organizations, advocating for the protection of carriage horses in New York City and participating in the HSVMA’s Humane Lobby Days.

Ada Norris received the HSVMA Veterinary Student Direct Care Award. She began her DVM degree after wilderness emergency medical technician training, driving an ambulance and completing her PhD in literature. She has helped address free-roaming and companion animals in low-income households, including fieldwork with the HSVMA’s Rural Area Veterinary Services program.


Six cotton-top tamarins died while in quarantine at the Oregon Zoo, according to KGW Portland. The monkeys arrived at the zoo on May 22, and died May 25. Zoo spokesman Hova Najarian says that the monkeys, a species of small New World monkey, died of unknown causes and were a part of a group of nine that had been brought to the zoo.

The surviving monkeys are being closely monitored and appear to be in good health, according to KGW Portland. Initial necropsies were unable to determine a cause of death and samples had been sent to a pathologist to try and find more information about why the animals died.

The zoo has been under fire recently after the death of Kutai, a 20-year-old orangutan. The zoo’s director and senior veterinarian were let go after an investigation of Kutai’s death.

Related Videos
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.