FLORHAM PARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zoetis, a proud ongoing sponsor of the American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, congratulates all of the winners honored this weekend at the sixth annual gala in Beverly Hills, California.
Zoetis again sponsored the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™ that the company helped establish in 2014 to honor the exceptional people behind the animals we love. Through its RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program™, Zoetis expanded its support this year to include sponsoring the Law Enforcement Dog category as well as the Military Dog category. The RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program provides veterinary medical support for retired military and police dogs like Edo and Layka, the category representatives.
The recipients of the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards were Dr. Natalie Isaza of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and Kim Knap of the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, respectively.
“Compassionate dedication to the health and welfare of animals is a hallmark of both Dr. Isaza and Ms. Knap,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, group director, Companion Animal Marketing at Zoetis. “We are proud to join in honoring these exceptional individuals who are making a difference in animals’ lives through delivery of outstanding veterinary care.”
2016 American Humane Hero Veterinarian award recipient
Dr. Natalie Isaza is the founder of the Veterinary Community Outreach Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. This program works with local animal rescue groups and shelters, providing spay/neuter surgical services, heartworm treatments, general wellness care, and more specialized veterinary care for animals in need. It has helped countless animals that might have been euthanized at rural shelters in north Florida, as well those pets in a clinic serving lower-income pet owners.
Dr. Isaza is also a co-founder of St. Francis Pet Care, a free veterinary clinic for pets of low income and homeless members of her community. Dr. Isaza also implemented a program to provide free veterinary care for treatable conditions at local animal shelters. She and her students regularly visit animal shelters in rural counties, providing veterinary care and transferring animals to rescue groups so they can be adopted. Her dedication has inspired many veterinarians she has trained to become public servants and strong advocates for animal welfare.
2016 American Humane Hero Veterinary Technician award recipient
Kim Knap BS, CVT, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, specializes in companion animal rehabilitation for pets that have mobility problems. She provides physical rehabilitation for patients and also works with the orthopedic surgery service. Additionally, Ms. Knap teaches veterinary students on patient physical condition assessment and rehabilitation techniques. Her pet owner clients say that she goes above and beyond for their pets.
“My dog Dexter started seeing her for rehab for a chronic knee injury,” said one grateful owner of a dog helped by Ms. Knap. “Usually, Dexter hates going to the vet, but from the beginning he was smitten with Kim. He’d even try to sneak out to the garage on off days in hopes that I’d take him to see her. Dexter walks great now, and is so strong that sometimes I really have to watch him because he can now counter surf. He wouldn’t be in such good shape if Kim hadn’t caught the problem he’d been having, and I felt totally comfortable leaving him there for two days because I knew she would be there with him.”
More information about this year’s American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician is available at http://www.herovetawards.org/.
K-9 Edo and Layka Represent Law Enforcement and Military Dog Categories
K-9 Edo, representing the Law Enforcement category, is a member of the K-9 Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. He was nominated for the 2016 Hero Dog Award because of his heroic effort to save two children trapped inside a home with a suspect wanted for robbery and murder. Edo engaged the suspect upon entering the house, pulling him away from the gun and taking gunfire away from the two small children and the additional K-9 officers. Both children survived, and Edo’s actions are credited for saving the entire K-9 team.
Layka, representing the Military category, served in Afghanistan until May 2012 when her combat unit was engaged in an enemy compound in an Afghan Village. She was sent inside the compound to search for injured or live combatants and explosives. Here, she engaged with the enemy and was shot four times in her right shoulder area. Her team was able to bring her safely to an extraction point where Layka received medical attention and was then flown to another base to have her right leg removed. She was then transported to Germany for surgery to remove and repair her shoulder and tricep. Layka was moved for recovery at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and was medically retired in August 2012.
To learn more about Edo, Layka and the other six finalists, visit http://www.herodogawards.org/.
The Hallmark Channel will air a special broadcast to honor all of the Hero Awards finalists on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 8pm PT/ET.
About the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program
Launched in January 2015, the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program provides veterinary medical support for retired military and police dogs. Through the program, Zoetis, the maker of RIMADYL® (carprofen), helps with annual healthcare costs for 550 retired military and police dogs. Each recipient receives $300 on a debit card annually that can be used for any services offered at their veterinary clinic such as wellness exams, vaccinations or grooming. More information on the program is available at www.rimadylk9courage.com.
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information please visit www.americanhumane.org.
Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2015, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.