Caroline Schaffer, DVM, assistant professor of clinical sciences and director of the Center for the Study of Human-Animal Interdependent Relationships at the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, received the 2000 Bustad Companion Animal of the Year Award at a ceremony at the Tufts Animal Expo 2000 last month in Boston.
Currently immediate past president of the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians, Schaffer was honored in part for her work with people living with HIV/AIDS, having co-authored a brochure "HIV/AIDS and Pet Ownership" about pet ownership options for immunocompromised people. Now in its second edition, more than 25,000 copies of the brochure have been distributed to veterinarians and technicians, public health workers, physicians, immunocomprised people and dog and cat breeders.
"I get letters from people saying 'I wish I'd gotten this brochure last week. My physician made me get rid of my pet and I'm just devastated,'" Schaffer said. "As veterinarians, we understand the risks and cycles of diseases, and we can take that knowledge and explain it to people who want to keep their pets - this is work that touches many lives."
Established in 1986 to honor Leo Bustad, DVM, MS, Ph.D., the Bustad Award recognizes the work of veterinarians in promoting the human-animal bond. It is sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Delta Society and Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc.