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Stories of Gifts in Action


Barbaro and Dr. Dean Richardson

Thanks to the support of our many donors and friends, Penn Vet continues to lead in breakthrough research, state-of-the-art clinical care, and the education of tomorrow's veterinary leaders.

Please take a moment to read some of the wonderful stories of generosity that have helped our School to continue to grow and change and become a world leader in veterinary medicine.

Friends, Alumni & Donors, Thank You!

From all of us, thank you to our many 2016 donors. Gifts like yours make all the difference in our animals' lives.


Ryan Hospital Stories


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Aspen’s Tale: A Winding Road to Recovery

Dr. Kate Backel was concerned. In fact, the first-year Penn Vet resident was losing sleep. Her patient Aspen, a six-year-old male Labrador Retriever, was in the midst of fighting a severe case of dermatophytosis (ringworm), complicated by the onset of a bacterial skin infection. His journey to recovery was proving to be a winding and particularly arduous one.

Blue, Hero Dog

Hero Dog

Having one’s home broken into is bad enough, but imagine the fear aroused by having an armed assailant invade your house while you’re there.

One February morning at the home of Nina Teller and Leroy Buchanan in West Philadelphia, Teller answered a knock at the door. As she spoke with the man, another man pushed past them into the house.

Thankfully they had Blue, their loyal eight-year-old pit bull, to defend them.

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Prosthetic for Pete

Benjamin Spalding was working late when he heard the screams.

He ran outside to investigate and saw that a fox had startled Pete, his 34-year-old Mealy Amazon parrot. As Pete climbed up the side of the backyard aviary, the fox grabbed his foot and tore it off.

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Training the Next Generation

Penn Vet has long been recognized for its pursuit of excellence in education and training. While Exotics medicine is highly specialized, Ryan Hospital’s Exotics service is busy and robust, providing important exposure to students during their clinical rotations. Fourth-year students with a strong interest in Exotics medicine can take additional Exotics rotations as electives.

A True Star: Starlet Shines in Her Fight Against Cancer

In 1998, while on vacation in the Virgin Islands, Margaret DeSimone spotted a beautiful tortoiseshell cat roaming Morning Star Beach. At that moment, she knew she had to bring the cat home. With the help of the Humane Society, Margaret flew Starlet, as she would later be named, to Philadelphia to begin her new life. Unbeknownst to Margaret, Starlet’s journey was only just beginning.


New Bolton Center Hospital Stories


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New Bolton Center Pigs Star in International Competition

The giant sows came up close, curious, some poking their snouts through the railings, as the eight elementary school students walked down the aisle, making their way through the enclosed barn.

Lisa Gaudio with Kyrie

A Legacy Continues

Last February, Lisa Gaudio and her husband Jim Kazanjian had to say goodbye to their beloved half-Arabian, Kyrie Eleison. The dark bay mare had fought a long battle with laminitis, spending many weeks at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center under the care of a dedicated team that included Dr. James Orsini, Associate Professor of Surgery, and Patrick Reilly, Chief of Farrier Services.

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The Mystery of the Barrel Racer

The barrel-racer’s bone scan showed a hot spot right where the spine attaches to the base of the skull, indicating an injury. But the radiographs were inconclusive.

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Special Paint’s Eyes Saved by Laser Treatment

In the first collaboration of its kind between Penn Vet and Penn Med, clinicians used a laser treatment for humans to treat cancerous tumors in the delicate area around both eyes of a horse.

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Trouble with Toodles

In what may be the first procedure of its kind, New Bolton Center ophthalmologists have performed cataract surgery on both eyes of a goat, and implanted artificial lenses, making it possible for her to see.


Penn Vet Research Stories


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The Center for Animal Health and Productivity: On a (Milk) Mission in India

Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center is recognized as a valuable ally of the dairy and agriculture industries in Pennsylvania. And this reputation, as well as Penn Vet’s reach and impact, are continuing to spread rapidly around the world.

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500 Days and Counting

Lewis, an eight-year-old Golden Retriever, qualified for the prestigious 2013 Master National hunt test in Kansas. As part of his final preparation, Lewis ran the first series of a master hunt test before the competition as a confidence builder. He nailed it.

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Dr. Kendra Bence and Team Piece Together Signaling Pathway Leading to Obesity

As scientists probe the molecular underpinnings of why some people are prone to obesity and some to leanness, they are discovering that weight maintenance is more complicated than the old “calories in, calories out” adage.

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New Bolton Center Researchers Study Effect of Equine Microbiome on Colic

The role of the equine microbiome in colic is the focus of new research at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center.

Researchers are analyzing microbiome data from horses undergoing surgery, comparing horses given antimicrobials to horses that were not given antimicrobials. Preliminary data shows antimicrobials have a significant effect on the equine microbiome.


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Denali - Treating Canine Cancer Without Amputation

Denali, a 10-year-old Spinone, was the first dog to enroll in Dr. Nicola Mason’s clinical trial for dogs with osteosarcoma who had not undergone amputation. Read Denali's story...


Penn Vet Student Scholarships


Dr. Ben Martin, New Bolton Center

In Memoriam: Benson (Ben) Bennett Martin, Jr., VMD

Dr. Martin was a pioneer in sports medicine and specialist in equine surgery, working his entire 34-year veterinary career at New Bolton Center, the large animal hospital of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet).

Meghana Pendurthi-PIADC

The Definition of a "Real" Vet

When I tell my friends and family members what I would like to do when I graduate from Penn Vet, oftentimes I am met with the question, “Don’t you want to be a real vet?”

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Penn Vet Grads on Forbes "30 Under 30" List

Lisa Gretebeck, 26, Penn Vet Class of 2015, and Dr. Nikki Wright, 28, Penn Vet Class of 2014, have been named to Forbes’ prestigious"30 Under 30" list for 2015, in the healthcare category. Gretebeck and Wright are recognized for cofounding Pou Sante: Amar Haiti, which provides sustainable animal husbandry training and resources to impoverished families living in rural Haiti.

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2015 Student Inspiration Award Winners

Launched in 2008, the award is presented annually to Penn Vet students who demonstrate the potential to significantly advance the frontiers of veterinary medicine and expand the profession’s impact on the well being of animals and society.

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Ellen Lapuck -- Veterinarians Without Borders

Ellen Lapuck, V'18, recounts her summer experience working with Veterinarians Without Borders.


Planned Giving Stories


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Peter Vogel, V'90: The Power of Planned Giving

In addition to becoming a successful small animal veterinarian, Penn Vet alumnus Peter Vogel, V’90, has dedicated himself to strengthening the veterinary profession. He is particularly concerned about the significant loan debt facing many vet school graduates and sees a need to increase public awareness of the value that veterinarians offer to society.

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Dr. Abram Stavitsky, V’46 - Creating a Permanent Legacy

Through the use of gift annuities and IRA rollover gifts to support scholarship at Penn Vet, Dr. Abram Stavitsky, V'46, has ensured that the School can continue to provide the highest level of scientific training for future veterinarians. He is particularly passionate about providing financial support for minority students.

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Carol Rinehart - A Love of Animals

Born in Texas, Carol Ann Rinehart loved animals all her life. She made sure they would be well taken care of in years to come by creating an endowed Opportunity Scholarship.

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Miranda Markart and Ethan Flint - Never Too Young

The generosity of donors Miranda Markart and Ethan Flint has and will continue to support clinical trials through their endowment for the Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center.