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barks feature Veterinarians are hailed as heroes when they save the lives of their clients, but rarely do they get to dress up and share the spotlight at an event dedicated entirely to honoring them. Petplan’s 2017 Veterinary Excellence Awards provided just such an opportunity. Against an elegant backdrop of dog-breed table toppers and “Petplan yellow” centerpieces, more than 200 of the industry’s finest turned out to celebrate their achievements on February 4 at Orlando’s Four Seasons Resort. The Veterinary Excellence Awards Dinner, emceed by YouTube sensation Dr. Andy Roark, featured the exemplary work of the finalists and named here's who took home 2017's top prizes! the top dogs in each awards category. Thousands of nominations poured in from all across North America, but in the end just six winners took home all the bones. “Our honorees this year represent the best in veterinary medicine, and we couldn’t be happier to give them the recognition they deserve,” says Petplan co-founder and co-CEO Natasha Ashton. “Our judges were impressed by their commitment to their teams, warm professionalism, interest in professional growth and service to their clients and communities.” Finalists laughed, cried and cheered as videos documenting their efforts were played during the ceremony. “The feeling of support and camaraderie among a room full of veterinary professionals really can’t be put into words,” says Dr. Andy Roark. “In this industry, there are many days when you go home with a broken heart. To watch faces light up and teams hug while their hard work and heart is acknowledged is truly a special feeling.” Now in its sixth year, Petplan’s Veterinary Excellence Awards dinner celebrates professionals who provide exceptional care to pets and outstanding customer service to their people. Winners were chosen in six categories: Practice of the Year: Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Levittown, PA. Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Hilary Wheeler, CVA, The Whole Pet Vet Hospital in Los Gatos, CA. Practice Manager of the Year: Andy Pertuset, CVPM, Western Carolina, Regional Animal Hospital & Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Flat Rock, NC. Veterinary Technician of the Year: Purvi Patel, RVT, Laurelwood Veterinary Hospital, in Waterloo, ON. Receptionist of the Year: Amie Zimmerman, Deer Grove Veterinary Clinic in Cottage Grove, WI. Pet Parent of the Year: Melody Fox, Cause4Paws Pet Food Bank, in Phoenix, AZ. “While every nominee brings something special to their work, our winners exemplify everything the Veterinary Awards are about,” says Ashton. “Recognizing individuals and teams making a meaningful impact on pets’ lives is truly an honor, and it’s something we all look forward to year after year.” fun in the sun issue 57


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