Gotta Love Those Docs


The big news is here. This time, it’s about a very special group, the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. I’ve been privileged to work with several specialty AVMA Colleges of Veterinary Medicine over the years — beginning with the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC). No, I haven’t forgotten them. But today we are celebrating a smaller College that deserves to be bigger, and I have no doubt they will get there.  The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB).

Today is a big day for the ACVB and we’re thrilled to be a small part of it. The College’s new book, Decoding Your Dog, goes on sale today to help explain common dog behaviors and reveal how to prevent or change unwanted ones. The book is packed with remedies for behavior problems, socialization, anxiety and aggression issues and much more. We are playing a small role by also unveiling the ACVB monthly column, Helping People Help Their Pets on www.goodnewsforpets.com. This month’s column features questions and answers by editors Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB and John Ciribassi, DMV, DACVB.  The book’s other editor, Steve Dale, has been a longtime contributor to www.goodnewsforpets.com and will be interviewed next month.

So why is it I and others love these docs?  The members of the ACVB are called veterinary behaviorists. They are doctors of veterinary medicine who handle the really tough issues — and solve the behavior problems that often prevent pet relinquishment.  When you consider unwanted behavior is the number one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups, their work is a tremendous service. Great doctors of veterinary medicine dealing with tough issues.  Yes, we love ’em and look forward to hearing more from them in their monthly column.

Be Kind: American Humane Study Shows We’ve Got Work To Do


Today is the last day of Be Kind to Animals Week which coincides with National Pet Week this year.  But thankfully, it’s not the last chance to take a look at how we treat our pets — and solve the problems that lead to giving them up.  American Humane Association (AHA) released a study funded by a grant from PetSmart Charities on Wednesday, May 8 that indicates hundreds of thousands of adopted pets are given up, lost or die each year.

Interestingly, there was a significant difference in retention rates associated with veterinary visits.  Although the AHA cautioned a deeper dive into the reasons why, the retention rate among pets that had had a veterinary visit was 93.3 percent compared to 53.3 percent of dogs and 79.4 percent of cats respectively.

According to Dr. Patricia Olson, chief veterinary advisor for AHA and head of its Animal Welfare Institute, the study explores three of the greatest issues facing dogs and cats today: the lack of willing adopters, the reasons so many pets leave their homes and the need to create strategies to help Americans retain their pets.

Animal health companies and veterinary groups are also trying to address these alarming problems. For example, behavioral issues is one of the concerns that can cause pet owners to give up their pet.  As Ceva Animal Health and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists again tour this year with the Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour bus, pet owners will be provided with some solutions to behavioral problems, and encouraged to see their veterinarian.  For a complete tour schedule, click here.

Kudos to the American Humane Association on the study, but AHA knows we still have work to do.  The American Humane Association is seeking funding to complete the project and prospective supporters can contact AHA at 866-242-1877 or reneg@americanhumane.org. The complete study can be found at americanhumane.org/petsmart.