Shelter medicine professor named “Hero Vet” finalist

Dr. Natalie Isaza

Dr. Natalie Isaza

Dr. Natalie Isaza, a faculty member at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named a finalist in a national group’s “Hero Veterinarian” competition.

On May 19, based on nominations from pet owners and animal lovers alike, the American Humane Association announced five finalists in the Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards. The awards, which the association created to honor the achievements of these professionals, are sponsored by Zoetis.

Isaza is the college’s Grevior Shelter Medicine Community Outreach Clinical Associate Professor. She leads the UF Veterinary Community Outreach Program, formerly known as the Merial Shelter Medicine Clerkship, which provides UF veterinary students with hands-on experience in spay-neuter surgery and community veterinary medicine. Students also gain additional surgical and medical treatment experience through a donor-funded program Isaza administers, known as Helping Alachua’s Animals Requiring Treatment and Surgery.

Isaza also co-founded a clinic for the pets of low-income members of the local community, St. Francis Pet Care, in which veterinary students participate.

“Whether they are lending eyes to the unsighted, ears to the deaf, protection to the sleeping family and the soldier, or providing a welcoming kiss at the end of a hard day, animals affect us in so many different ways,” states the association on its website. “Behind almost every hero pet — and millions more animals — is a hero veterinarian or hero veterinary technician.”

Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and who are residents of the United States or the District of Columbia may visit to register and vote for one winner in each category. The deadline for voting is July 21.

The winning veterinarian and technician will travel to Los Angeles in September to participate in the AHA’s Hero Dog Awards event.

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