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University Researcher Wins Bustad Award

Dr. Jason Coe is the AVMA’s Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Jeff Boehm and Valerie Fenstermaker also are honored.

University Researcher Wins Bustad Award
Dr. Jason Coe

Ontario Veterinary College professor Jason Coe, DVM, Ph.D., has been named the 2021 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year, one of the profession’s highest honors.

Dr. Coe was among three recipients of annual awards administered by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The two others were Jeff Boehm, DVM, DACAW, the CEO of The Marine Mammal Center, who received the AVMA Animal Welfare Award, and Valerie Fenstermaker, former executive director of the California Veterinary Medical Association, who won the AVMA Humane Award.

Dr. Coe is a professor in the department of population medicine at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College and a leading expert in veterinary clinical communications, according to the AVMA.

“Through his research, Dr. Coe has made significant contributions to enhancing animal welfare and behavior, promoting adoption, and preventing surrender and relinquishment, specifically investigating urban cat issues, puppy socialization, dog walking, dog fear and aggression, and rabbit care,” the AVMA stated. “Another area of study is dietary conversations to manage canine and feline obesity. These investigations contribute to the human-animal bond by ensuring that pets stay in their homes after successful adoption and acclimation and live long and enriching lives in loving homes.”

The Bustad award is named after the late Dr. Leo K. Bustad, former president of the Delta Society and dean of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Boehm, the Animal Welfare Award winner, is an expert in aquatic animal health and welfare.

“As CEO of The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal hospital, Dr. Boehm has championed the conservation of marine mammal populations and species, some of which are on the brink of extinction, as well as overseen the development and refinement of numerous veterinary protocols, procedures, tools and techniques to advance the humane care and welfare of individual marine mammals in distress,” the AVMA stated.

Fenstermaker was recognized in a broad category honoring a non-veterinarian for advancing the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education, research and product development, or advocacy.

She served the California Veterinary Medical Association for more than 30 years, retiring in 2020 as executive director. She worked on “more than a thousand bills affecting the veterinary profession and the well-being of animals in California,” the AVMA reported.


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