Penn Vet | Donors & Friends
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New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
610-444-5800
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
Emergencies:
215-746-8911
Appointments:
215-746-8387
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Our Friends & Donors

Stories of Gifts in Action


2020 Friends Report of Giving 

Thank You for Your Partnership

We cherish those who choose to give annually to Penn Vet in a generous way. Our community grows stronger each time you give, fueling the Power of Penn Vet. In this calendar, you will find our 2020 Honor Roll of donors, including every donor who supported Penn Vet -- from the smallest to the largest gift because every gift matters. In honor of you, our loyal donors, we share our calendar that tells stories from our Penn Vet community: our animals, our clinicians, and -- most important -- you, our many friends.

Download the 2020 Friends of Penn Vet Honor Roll Calendar to view all of the photos and read their stories (PDF).


Ryan Hospital Stories

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.

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This Penn heart patient is a 9-year-old boxer dog named Sophie

For Karen Cortellino, her 9-year-old dog Sophie is more than just a companion.

“There’s this bumper sticker that says, ‘Rescue dogs: Who rescued who?’” says Cortellino, a physician from New Jersey. “That’s exactly how I feel.” Eight years ago, she adopted Sophie, a boxer, two weeks after the death of the family’s first boxer, and “she’s been Mommy’s baby ever since.”

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Identifying a gene for canine night blindness

Creating an effective gene therapy for inherited diseases requires three key steps. First, scientists must identify and characterize the disease. Second, they must find the gene responsible. And finally, they must find a way to correct the impairment.

Retinal Structure, Dr. Gustavo Aguirre, Penn Vet

Is treatment forever? Success of gene therapy for inherited blindness depends on timing

Nearly two decades ago, a gene therapy restored vision to Lancelot, a Briard dog who was born with a blinding disease. This ushered in a period of hope and progress for the field of gene therapy aimed at curing blindness, which culminated in the 2017 approval of a gene therapy that improved vision in people with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare, inherited form of blindness closely related to the condition seen in Lancelot. It represents the first FDA-approved gene therapy for an inherited genetic disease.

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Penn Vet Puts Service into Action

Penn Vet will host a free dog and cat vaccination and wellness clinic from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Monday, January 15th at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital at 3900 Spruce Street. The wellness clinic reflects the School’s commitment to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.

"Push-Pull" method at Ryan Hospital

Taking Blood Using ‘Push-Pull’ Method Gets Accurate Results With Fewer Pokes

A new study by University of Pennsylvania veterinary researchers has found that blood samples collected from an intravenous catheter using a special “mixing” technique are as accurate as those collected via venipuncture, in which a needle is used to access the vein directly.


New Bolton Center Hospital Stories


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Setting up Foals for Success: Ten Things to Do

From December to August, breeding and foaling season, Dr. Michelle Abraham has her hands full with pregnant mares and foals.      

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A Pain in the Paddock

Stephanie Rzeplinski grew up around horses in rural Pennsylvania. Since age 4, she’s ridden and cared for the animals daily—so when her 13-year-old gelding, Robbie, fell ill, she immediately noticed something was wrong.

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Surviving the Storms

Since Hurricane Katrina, displaced pets and their families have captured the attention of animal lovers everywhere. Some of the most heart-wrenching stories are of people separated from their four-legged family members. Penn Vet’s Dr. Sue McDonnell and Dr. Carlo Siracusa talked to Knowledge@Wharton SiriusXM Business Radio about how animals respond to weather emergencies and what owners, caretakers, and concerned citizens can do to keep them safe.

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Solving Sports Medicine's Trickiest Mysteries

Penn Vet’s Dr. Elizabeth Davidson loves a good horse mystery. She and her team of equine Sports Medicine experts at New Bolton Center have solved many cases of ‘just not right’ horses, athletic animals who aren’t performing well but don’t have any obvious clinical complaints.

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Equine Field Service on the Beat for Clydesdale Cops

Clydesdale cops Spartan and Julio help keep the peace in northern Delaware, so the horses’ massive bodies must always be up to the task. With their human riders, the equine officers police parks, neighborhoods, and community events as members of the New Castle County (NCC) Mounted Patrol Unit.  When recent eye issues bothered both horses, their sergeant called New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service.


Penn Vet Research Stories


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VMD-PhD Program Leads in Training

Completing a veterinary degree—with four years of intensive classwork, clinical rotations, surgeries, community outreach, and more—takes perseverance. So does earning a PhD. It takes exceptional dedication to do both.

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Assets in the opioid epidemic, working dogs can also become its victims

It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of the nation’s opioid crisis, which claims more than 100 lives each day due to overdoses. The impact of opioids radiates beyond the direct users, however, as secondary exposure to drugs can harm first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and even working dogs, which can use their perceptive noses to find illicit drugs.

Dr. Gary Althouse explains key concepts to students during a hands-on lab.

Penn Vet Teams with Merck Animal Health to Educate Young Swine Veterinarians

Swine University participants, representing seven countries from across the globe, were involved in a training program that included lecture, interactive lab, and both small and large group activities. Facilitated by the foremost experts in swine health, the curriculum included a mix of practical and theoretical exercises on swine management, communication skills, economic analyses, and an in-depth review of diagnosis and treatment of respiratory and reproductive diseases.

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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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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.


Penn Vet Student Scholarships


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The Hills Announce $1 Million Scholarship Fund

A $1 million gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill will establish the Robert Marshak-Vernon Hill Scholarship Fund in collaboration with Wharton to help ensure global food security.

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VMD-PhD Program Leads in Training

Completing a veterinary degree—with four years of intensive classwork, clinical rotations, surgeries, community outreach, and more—takes perseverance. So does earning a PhD. It takes exceptional dedication to do both.

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Change in Plans

Recent graduate Sridhar Veluvolu, V’18, entered Penn Vet wanting to be a general practitioner. By the time he graduated, he had 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?”


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.