WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Caring, understanding and love are universal attributes that transcend every boundary and are basic requirements for keeping our pets happy and healthy. Yet participation in the very field responsible for this key task is far from universal, with African-Americans making up fewer than 3 percent of all veterinarians in the United States.
To help build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive new generation of medical professionals committed to caring for our animals, American Humane, the country's first national humane organization, has created the "American Humane Scholars Fund" to support students of color in their quest to become veterinarians. An inaugural grant of $40,000, sponsored by leading animal health company Zoetis, was made this week to the historic Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. The announcement was broadcast nationwide on Monday during the American Humane Hero Dog Awards®: 10th Anniversary Celebration on Hallmark Channel.
Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine is the only veterinary medical professional program located on the campus of a historically black college or university in the United States. Tuskegee has educated more than 70 percent of the nation's African-American veterinarians and is recognized as the most diverse of all accredited schools/colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States.
Veterinarians play a key role at American Humane as their knowledge informs the organization's scientific standards and guidelines protecting nearly one billion animals on farms and ranches, in zoological institutions and on film sets around the world. American Humane veterinarians are also hard at work in the field, staffing free medical clinics for pets in under-resourced areas, rescuing animals in disaster zones and transporting shelter animals across the country.
"We couldn't do the work we do around the world without veterinarians," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. "We also know that becoming a veterinarian can be costly, and for many aspiring students that financial hurdle may be the only thing standing in the way of their dream to help animals. That's why, as CEO of American Humane, I am proud to announce, in partnership with inaugural sponsor Zoetis, that we are presenting our first American Humane Scholars Fund grant of $40,000 to the historic Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine."
"American Humane's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is rooted in nearly 150 years of progressive work that has built the humane movement in this country and around the world," said Von Scott, American Humane's Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion chair. "With the help of a new generation of humane heroes such as these promising new champions for animals from Tuskegee, we can change not only lives . . . we can change the world."
"Zoetis has had a long-time commitment to supporting veterinary medical students and university diversity initiatives. Our Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, has awarded over 3,600 scholarships totaling more than $7 million over the past 12 years," said Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM, Vice President and U.S. Chief Medical Officer at Zoetis. "We are pleased to partner with American Humane to provide additional scholarship opportunities for Tuskegee veterinary medical students."
"We are very grateful to American Humane and Zoetis for partnering to support our students in the American Humane Scholars Fund. Their vision and generosity in this endeavor will support our deserving students seeking careers in veterinary medicine. Our alumna, Dr. Christine Jenkins, has been a consistent proponent of veterinary medical education opportunities for our students in which we are appreciative as well. We at Tuskegee focus on our students being career-ready veterinarians when they complete the curriculum to pursue the many employment opportunities in the veterinary profession," said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine.
About American Humane American Humane is the country's first national humane organization. For more information please visit www.AmericanHumane.org, and please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Zoetis Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and precision livestock farming. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2019, the company generated annual revenue of $6.3 billion with approximately 10,600 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.
About the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine Located in Alabama as one of the state's two accredited veterinary programs, it was envisioned in 1944 by Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, founder of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and officially established at Tuskegee in 1945. It is the only veterinary medical professional program located on the campus of a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the United States. The College's primary mission is to provide an environment that fosters a spirit of active, independent and self-directed learning, intellectual curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, ethics, and leadership; and promotes teaching, research and service in veterinary medicine and related disciplines. For more information, visit www.tuskegee.edu/vetmed.