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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


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.

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No Prince Here

Julie Harris’ family has a variety of household pets – a dog named Jaxx, two cats named Army and Navy, and a two-year-old female bearded dragon named Chip.

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Nursing Marvin Back to Health

Particularly in tune with animals’ needs, veterinary technicians at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital consistently go above and beyond to provide the best in nursing care. Marvin’s case was no exception.

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Radioactive Cats!

Church wasn’t acting like herself. The 13-year-old gray cat, named for her doppelgänger in the film Pet Sematary, was drinking more water than usual and was abnormally excitable. Her devoted owners, Lauren Catullo and Rianna Taylor, noticed the changes immediately. Thankfully, Church’s yearly veterinary exam was right around the corner.

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Nine Lives

Since birth, Brianna has fought against the odds. Born in an abandoned car on a farm in upstate New York, the dauntless calico was discovered by neighbors who bottle-fed her after learning that her mother had been hit by a car. Years later Brianna went missing for five days, only to be discovered behind a feed bin in a barn. Part of her tail had been stripped to the bone, evidence that she had survived an attack.


New Bolton Center Hospital Stories


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.

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Medical Mystery: Big Thoroughbred Has a Big Infection

The racetrack was not the place for this sweet Thoroughbred gelding, fighting to come in second-to-last in his best race. Flying over open hills and jumps, that’s what this athlete was clearly born to do. 


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.

Dr. Kendra Bence

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.