NEW YORK, February 11, 2008The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Dr. Steven R. Hansen, board-certified veterinary toxicologist and director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Ill., was named 2007 Veterinarian of the Year (sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation) at the Purina® Pro Plan® Show Dogs of the Year Awards on Saturday, February 9, 2008. Sponsored by Dogs in Review Magazine, the awards ceremony was held on February 9, 2008, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
Dr. Hansen was recognized for the ASPCA’s exceptional service to pet parents, veterinarians and the American public alike during last year’s pet food recall crisis, which began in March and lasted several months. During this time, information from the ASPCA’s proprietary database, AnTox™, combined with clinical information from Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital and testing information from veterinary diagnostic, corporate and FDA laboratories, was interpreted for the public on an ongoing basis. This consistent flow of reliable information, along with the resultant recommendations, guided the actions of pet parents nationwide, saving countless lives in the process.
“I, along with the entire organization, am very proud of this recognition of Dr. Hansen’s leadership during last year’s unprecedented pet food recall crisis,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “His expertise and farsightedness, combined with our communications expertise, were the reason our organization was able to help the American public and their pets cope from day to day.”
Additional honorees included Cesar Milan for Trainer of the Year, the staff of the Irvine Animal Care Center for Shelter of the Year, and breeder-handler Wendell Sammet, who was inducted into the Anne Rogers Clark Hall of Fame.
Dr. Hansen is board-certified by the American Board of Toxicology and the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and serves on veterinary, governmental and corporate advisory committees.
“I feel honored to receive such meaningful recognition,” said Dr. Hansen. “However, the ASPCA’s response to the Pet Food Recall crisis was an extremely collaborative one, and I share this award with all my colleagues. The combined efforts of our poison, medical and communications teams, as well as veterinary diagnostic, governmental and corporate laboratories, positioned us well to interpret facts and deliver meaningful recommendations to reassure pet parentsand, thus, guide their decisions.”
Established in 1978, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is the only 24-hour, 365-day facility of it kind staffed by 30 veterinarians including 12 board-certified toxicologists/veterinary toxicologists and 13 certified veterinary technicians. Located at the ASPCA’s Midwest Office in Urbana, Ill., the specially trained staff provides assistance to pet owners, and specific diagnostic and treatment recommendations to veterinarians pertaining to toxic chemicals and dangerous plants, products or substances. In 2007, the center handled over 130,000 cases. The center also provides extensive veterinary toxicology expert consulting on a wide array of subjects, including legal cases, formulation issues, product liability, and regulatory reporting.