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Washington Veterinary Student Receives HSVMA Advocacy Award

WASHINGTON — Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine student Nicole Putney was awarded the second annual Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Veterinary Student Advocacy Award. Putney, who just started her fourth year of veterinary training, received the award for her efforts to advance more humane teaching methods.

HSVMA developed the Veterinary Student Advocacy Award to honor students who have promoted humane and respectful treatment of all animals. Putney successfully inspired a departure from traditional educational protocols that housed and then killed or otherwise harmed animals.

Susan Krebsbach, DVM, a founding veterinary member of and veterinary consultant for the HSVMA, presented the award at the 2010 Taking Action for Animals conference, which is hosted by The Humane Society of the United States.

"I am proud to be in the same profession with such a committed, compassionate and benevolent future veterinarian, and to present this award that acknowledges Nicole Putney's noble contributions to the veterinary profession," said Dr. Krebsbach.

Over the past three years, Putney worked with faculty to implement alternatives to the use of colony dogs—dogs housed at the university and used repeatedly for teaching purposes—and alternatives to terminal procedures, in which animals are euthanized rather than recovered after a procedure. In an anesthesiology course, Nicole helped create an alternative in which shelter dogs are anesthetized and then neutered by third- or fourth-year students and returned for adoption (rather than anesthetizing colony dogs and then euthanizing them). Thanks in part to Nicole's efforts; Washington State ended the use of colony dogs in required courses at the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year. In addition to taking on curriculum challenges, Nicole also has been a student advocate for the HSVMA, starting the HSVMA student chapter at the WSU and participating in HSVMA Field Services missions, which brings free veterinary services to underserved rural communities where poverty and geographic isolation make regular veterinary care inaccessible.

Putney demonstrated her commitment to a humane approach to animals, and prompted the university to adopt the same outlook with their announced policy changes. The HSVMA is proud to recognize Nicole Putney with the 2010 HSVMA Veterinary Student Advocacy Award.

Learn more about the HSVMA at hsvma.org.



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 The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. 

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