The American Veterinary Medical Association has named Benjamin Hart, a UC Davis distinguished professor emeritus, its Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year.
The annual award recognizes a veterinarian’s work “in preserving and protecting human-animal relationships,” according to a news release, including community service, leadership, research and teaching. Named for Leo Bustad, a former dean of Washington State University’s vet school, the award comes with a $5,000 grant.
Hart’s research includes a study released in February that found early neutering of golden retrievers affects the animal’s risk for developing certain cancers and joint diseases. Examining the health records of 759 dogs, he found a doubling of hip dysplasia among male dogs neutered before they reached a year old.
“My goal for that study was to give dog caregivers the information they need to be directly involved in neutering decisions as related to the long-term health of their dogs,” Hart said in the news release. “The study results indicate that dog owners and service-dog trainers should carefully consider when to have their dogs neutered.”
Michael Larimore, dean of UCD’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said UCD was “fortunate to have Dr. Hart’s talents at UC Davis.”
“Ben’s passion for his research and dedication to his patients and clients shines through with this award,” Larimore said.