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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.

Thank You!

From all of us, thank you to our many 2017 friends, alumni, and donors. Gifts like yours make all the difference in our animals' lives.


Ryan Hospital Stories


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Treating Orthopedic Injury Makes Dog and Owner Comfortable

During a casual conversation, a dog park friend once advised New York City resident Leslye Alexander to take her dog Olivia to Penn Vet in an emergency. “I never thought I would need it,” said Alexander. “But then Olivia was injured.”

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Dr. Michael Mison Answers Ten: Surgical Oncology, Ah Ha Moments, and Summiting Kilimanjaro

As a child, Dr. Michael Mison’s parents encouraged him to be a physician. Drawn to animals and science, Mison knew early on that he would indeed go into medicine but focus on animals instead of humans.

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Angel's Long Way Home

Saturday, March 17, 2018, 6:00 AM. Earl Welsh was home getting his family ready for his teen daughter’s dance competition. Before they headed out for a long day, Welsh wanted to give Angel, their four-year-old Yorkie, some outdoor time. He and Angel headed into the quiet streets of Philadelphia for a walk. They would not come home together. Instead, Angel would end up in Emergency Services at Ryan Hospital. And Earl would face an agonizing decision about her life.

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Augmented Reality at Penn Vet

How can Penn Vet students operate on a real dog’s spine without ever touching a real dog? The answer isn’t a riddle, it’s augmented reality.

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Cloudy to Clear: Cataract Surgery Gives Diabetic Puppy New Sight

Like many puppies, Tucker loves a good chase. But the 9-month-old chocolate Labrador wasn’t always able to see a squirrel dart across his path or a ball thrown in his direction. Until recently, cataracts caused by juvenile onset diabetes limited the puppy’s vision in both eyes.


New Bolton Center Hospital Stories


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Senior Senator's Triumphant Return

Senior Senator has been called “one of the craziest horses that ever looked through a bridle.” But a serious accident in May 2017 temporarily dampened some of the eight-year-old gelding’s fiery, unique personality, nearly ending his racing career. While defending his 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup title at the 2017 race, the Thoroughbred and jockey Eric Poretz tumbled at the third fence in the notoriously challenging four-mile timber course.

Dr. David Levine Answers Ten: Surgery, Disease Prevention, Gardening, and More

Assistant professor of clinical large animal surgery Dr. David Levine is a world class surgeon, clinician, and teacher. Holding Diplomate status in Large Animal Surgery from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation from the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Levine is well-respected among his peers, clients, and students.      

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Surprise! It's Twins!

Excitement over a first pregnancy turned to concern for owner Adel Dukes Melson when her pregnant Holsteiner began showing signs of premature foaling. Weeks before the mare’s March 13 due date, her mammary gland started to develop and secrete milk, a typical indication that her body was preparing to soon give birth.

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Turtle Secrets

The precise moment of death, 65 million years ago, is captured in stone. The head and the legs are tucked under the shell, just as a threatened turtle would do today. Nearly intact, the fossil is exceedingly rare.

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Spirited Chevy Keeps Her Sight

Thoroughbred mare Set Chivalry, known to all who love her as Chevy, is a large personality. “She’s so smart and has such a spicy attitude,” said owner Susan Lax of the 21-year-old retired dressage horse. “She’s just really the apple of my eye and so exhilarating to ride. I have had her since she was four, and she is a member of our family. I would do whatever is necessary to keep her healthy.”


Penn Vet Research Stories


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Blue, Our Amazing Aussie

No words can describe the horror my wife and I felt when our beautiful, healthy, athletic Australian Shepherd, Blue (a once-in-a-lifetime dog) collapsed just before Labor Day 2016. He nearly died three times that afternoon and evening, and it was only through the amazing skill of multiple vets and techs at our family vet and the emergency hospital that he lived to see another day.

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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.

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.



Penn Vet Student Scholarships


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Change in Plans

Fourth year student Sridhar Veluvolu, V’18, entered Penn Vet wanting to be a general practitioner. He’s leaving the School with a different plan.  

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Hooked on Birds

Linnea Tracy, V’19, believes birds are veterinary medicine’s next frontier, and she wants to help chart the way. Driven by a profound love of animals and interest in the intersections among human and animal health, agriculture and public health, Tracy has begun the journey at Penn Vet.

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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.


Planned Giving Stories


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Lilly’s Courageous Journey Inspires a Commitment to Penn Vet

My interest in animals with special needs began with Columbus, a blind cat I adopted in 2000. At first I felt sorry for Columbus, but soon I realized that animals don’t feel sorry for themselves and don’t know they have limitations. Columbus was intrepid and more fearless than my cats with sight. He taught me about determination and perseverance, and brought love to everyone who had the honor of knowing him.

Dr. Midge Leitch, New Bolton Center

Midge Leitch, V’73, a True Pioneering Spirit

Dr. Midge Leitch, V’73, embodied the true pioneering spirit of many female veterinarians entering the profession at a time when it was still dominated by men.

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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.