[November 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA] – The new stars of Penn Vet’s billboards are: Humphrey the Holland Mini Lop rabbit, Lukas the Ragdoll cat, Toby the Labradoodle dog, and Tristan the Shetland Sheepdog. These adorable animals won Ryan Hospital’s “Happy Tails” Facebook contest, during which pet owners shared a photo of their pet, along with a story of how Ryan Hospital helped their animal.

More than 140 entries were submitted during the two-week contest held in October. The winners will be featured on billboards throughout Philadelphia the week of November 11, as well as on the Penn Vet website (www.vet.upenn.edu).

About the Winners
When Humphrey, a rescue bunny with an unknown health history, became seriously ill with GI stasis, veterinarians at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital saved his life. Humphrey spent several days in the Exotics department. “Not only did the team explore every avenue possible until they found and treated the cause of Humphrey’s illness, they also cared for him with compassion and affection,” said Humphrey’s owner, Victoria Boaz of the Rittenhouse Square section of Philadelphia. “In addition, the team stayed in contact with me daily and even checked in following Humphrey’s release. Penn Vet is an amazing place!”

Lukas, a Ragdoll cat, was just over a year old when he suddenly had difficulty jumping and going up and down steps. His condition rapidly worsened to the point where he was only able to take a few weak steps before lying down to rest. He even had to lie down to use the litter box and to eat his food. Another vet delivered the devastating news that Lukas’ happy life would have to come to an early end, as he would never recover. Lukas’ owners brought him to Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital for a second opinion, and he was given hope to recover. The vets at Penn Vet diagnosed Lukas with a lower motor neuron disease, a polyneuropathy affecting the nerves and muscles. After treatment with steroids, he fully recovered. “The staff at Penn Vet are truly amazing, caring, and talented,” said Lukas’ owner, Jenny Togias of the Art Museum/Fairmount section of Philadelphia.

Toby, a Labradoodle, was diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma when he was eight years old. At Ryan Hospital, he underwent a series of tests and ultimately had a mass removed. Today Toby is cancer-free. “The staff at Penn Vet gave Toby the best care possible and never stopped researching his case,” said Toby’s owner, Kim Dugan of Ambler. “I am so grateful for everyone at Penn Vet. Their knowledge, care, and compassion made a potentially heartbreaking situation bearable.”

After being diagnosed with melanoma on July 30, Tristan, a Shetland Sheepdog, was seen by Penn Vet’s Comprehensive Cancer Care team. During Tristan’s first visit, the team mapped out a complete treatment plan, Tristan received his first melanoma vaccination, and he was scheduled for his initial radiation treatment the following day. His successful treatment concluded on September 1. “I only wish that my human friends suffering with cancer could have the same quality, compassionate, timely, and coordinated care that Tristan received at Penn Vet,” said Tristan’s owner, Sue Anderson of Bryn Mawr.

About Penn Vet

Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, seeing nearly 33,000 patients a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals, treating 33,000 patients each year – 4,100 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.