Zoetis Honors First Hero Veterinarian And Hero Veterinary Technician™ At American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards

2014 Hero Dog Winner is Susie, an abused pit-bull-mix, representing the company-sponsored Therapy Dog category

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., September 29, 2014 – Zoetis today announced the first recipients of the new Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards presented by the American Humane Association (AHA) at AHA’s annual Hero Dog Awards gala held on September 28 in Beverly Hills, California.  Eva DeCozio, DVM of VCA Apache Junction clinic in Higley, Arizona and Signe Corbin of Westlake Animal Hospital in Austin, Texas received the respective awards, which were sponsored by Zoetis. 

“We believe that the compassion, dedication and expertise provided by veterinarians and veterinary technicians are critical to maintaining health and quality of life for our beloved pets,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, Zoetis group director of Companion Animal Veterinary Operations. “Zoetis is pleased to partner with the American Humane Association to recognize the exceptional service of Dr. DeCozio and Ms. Corbin and to support the heroic work being done by members of the veterinary profession every day.”

All of the Hero Award winners and finalists will be recognized during a Hallmark Channel broadcast on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central.

Dr. McFarland continued, “Honoring veterinarian and veterinary technicians aligns with our Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform that exemplifies the company’s responsibility to support the long-term health and sustainability of the profession.”  Commitment to Veterinarians focuses resources, training, continuing education, research and development, and philanthropy to address the many challenges facing the veterinary community today.

The genesis of the Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards was the idea that behind almost every hero pet (and millions more animals) is a hero veterinarian or hero veterinary technician. For these inaugural awards, AHA received nearly 700 nominations, which were reviewed by a special blue-ribbon panel of celebrities and renowned veterinary and animal care professionals. The public then voted online for the ultimate winners.

“To us, all vets and vet techs are heroes,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association’s President and CEO. “Indeed, Dr. DeCozio and Signe are tremendous animal welfare advocates and we are so proud to learn of their laudable accomplishments aiding the animals in their community.”

2014 AHA Hero Veterinarian Award Recipient

Dr. Eva DeCozio works at a clinic at the edge of a low-income Arizona neighborhood. Many of her clients arrive with seriously ill pets but have little money to pay for their care. When others turn these clients away, Dr. DeCozio does not. She also serves animals as the co-founder of Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary (PAWS), a non-profit animal welfare organization that “exists to create a community in which there is no unnecessary animal euthanasia.” Because of her efforts, more than 800 animals have been given a second chance at life.

“I am overwhelmed and humbled by this huge honor,” said Dr. DeCozio. “This award is a credit to my family, my community, my clients, my patients, and of course, my technicians. I want to dedicate this award to everyone involved in our rescue group who helped make this dream of creating a nonprofit a reality.”


2014 AHA Hero Veterinary Technician Recipient

For the past 24 years, Signe Corbin has exemplified what it means to be a Hero Veterinary Technician. In addition to providing care for the patients of Westlake Animal Hospital, she co-founded Pug Rescue of Austin (PRA) in 2009 and continues to serve as its medical director. She also hosts an annual “Pug Tune-up” fundraising event during which she and her fellow vet techs provide nail trims and ear cleanings to generate thousands of dollars in donations. Because of Signe’s dedication, to date, more than 600 rescued Pugs have received necessary medical care.

“This is the highlight of a 30-year career taking care of animals; this is such a great recognition by American Humane Association,” Corbin said. “Thank you to Zoetis for sponsoring this wonderful contest and your commitment to our profession.”

More information on the 2014 Hero Veterinarian and Veterinary Technician Award recipients is available at http://www.herovetawards.org/.

Susie Named 2014 AHA Hero Dog Winner

Zoetis congratulates Susie, an abused pit-bull-mix puppy, who has gone from life-threatening injuries to become an advocate for animal welfare. For the second year in a row, the Hero Dog Award recipient came from the Zoetis-sponsored Therapy Dog category. Susie and her owner, who was herself mauled by an abused dog, formed a partnership that led to stronger anti-cruelty legislation in North Carolina. Today, Susie serves as a certified therapy dog going to schools, hospitals and churches spreading a message of kindness, respect and responsibility to children and adults. She is also the inspiration for three children’s books and a movie about her amazing ability to forgive and love. Learn more about Susie and the other seven finalists at http://www.herodogawards.org/.

About American Humane Association

American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

About Zoetis

Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2013, the company generated annual revenues of $4.6 billion. With approximately 9,800 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2014, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 27 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries.  For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.
Zoetis is the proud sponsor, with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, of the mobile educational exhibit Animal Connections: Our Journey Together.  Families visiting the exhibit will explore the vast bonds between people and animals and learn about the important role veterinarians play in protecting animal and human health. 

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