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Bashara Wins AVMA Animal Welfare Award
Nebraska Ag Connection - 05/15/2018

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has named Dr. T. Robert Bashara, founder of Gentle Doctor Animal Hospitals in Nebraska and chief financial officer of the Doris Day Animal Foundation, as the winner of the 2018 AVMA Animal Welfare Award.

The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is one of three AVMA Animal Welfare and Human Animal Bond Excellence Awards sponsored and funded by Merck Animal Health. It is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of their achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research and product development, or advocacy.

Dr. Michael J. Topper, president of the AVMA, will present the award to Dr. Bashara at the 2018 AVMA Convention in Denver on July 13.

A 1963 graduate from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Bashara has provided veterinary care to generations of families' pets in and around Omaha, Neb., where he founded Mapleview Animal Clinic, the first location of what would become a three-location, 10-doctor practice.

Though retired from practice, Dr. Bashara remains active in promoting the health and welfare of animals across the country through his work with the Doris Day Animal Foundation, where he served as Day's veterinary consultant before becoming CFO of the foundation in 2009.

Dr. Bashara has been a long-time advocate of the spaying and neutering of companion animals. Throughout his career, he has worked with clients to educate them on the benefits of spaying and neutering, and under his leadership the Doris Day Animal Foundation's Spay Day USA has grown to become World Spay Day, advancing the spay-neuter message across the globe.

In 2015, Dr. Bashara helped secure emergency funding from the Doris Day Animal Foundation to help the Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescue, rehabilitate and release more than 200 seal lion pups after a food-supply crisis caused them to wash up on California beaches.

By recognizing animal welfare-related achievements through its Animal Welfare and Human Animal Bond awards, the AVMA hopes to raise awareness of the important roles people play in improving understanding of animal welfare-related issues. For more information on the AVMA's Veterinary Excellence Awards program, visit

The AVMA, Schaumburg, Ill., founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 91,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

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