Levy receives Avanzino Leadership Award from Maddie’s Fund

Dr. Julie Levy

Dr. Julie Levy

Dr. Julie Levy, a professor of shelter medicine at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the 2017 Avanzino Leadership Award from Maddie’s Fund.

Maddie’s Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has supported the college’s shelter medicine program with more than $11 million in grants since its inception in 2008. The award was presented to Levy in recognition of her outstanding leadership and significant achievements in saving animal lives.

Named for Rich Avanzino, the father of the no-kill movement and Maddie’s Fund president from 1999 to 2015, the award honors outstanding leadership in the animal welfare community. Presented along with a $25,000 grant to a nonprofit or government organization designated by the recipient, the honor is bestowed for demonstrating significant achievement in lifesaving, showing the courage to look beyond the status quo and making bold decisions to improve the lives of dogs and cats, and being a champion of the no-kill movement.

Among Levy’s many achievements are her groundbreaking work with community cats in the early 1990s through Operation Catnip, advancing the field and credibility of shelter medicine through disease prevention, outbreak response and prioritizing lifesaving over euthanasia, and more recent projects like the Million Cat Challenge, a shelter-based campaign to save the lives of one million cats in North America over a five-year period.

In addition to being this year’s Avanzino Leadership Award recipient, Levy has been a recipient of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Meritorious Service Award, the Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award, Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year and the European Society of Feline Medicine Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Feline Medicine. She is also the co-author of The Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ 2016 Veterinary Medical Care Guidelines for Spay-Neuter Programs.

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