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Dr. Amy Marder, DVM
Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Dr. Marder, veterinarian and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, through the Animal Behavior Society, is a graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation she attended a veterinary medical and surgical internship at a private practice in Southern California and then completed the first residency in clinical veterinary behavior at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After completing her residency Dr. Marder began to see animals that were exhibiting problem behaviors both in private practice, at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital and at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She has helped owners and their pets with behavior problems for over 25 years. For part of this time, she also served as Vice President of Behavioral Medicine at the ASPCA in New York City, where she founded the Center for Behavioral Therapy. During her time at the ASPCA, Dr. Marder studied behavioral evaluations of shelter dogs with the purpose of developing an objective and predictive test which could be used in animal shelters.
More recently, Dr. Marder has acted as the Director of Behavioral Services at the Animal Rescue League of Boston and as Director of the Center for Shelter Dogs. While director of the CSD Dr. Marder oversaw the national implantation and usage of the Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program which she developed based on her work at the ASPCA and the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
Dr. Marder has written two books and edited another for pet owners on general pet care. She was also the author of Prevention Magazine’s “Your Healthy Pet” column and has been a frequent contributor to veterinary textbooks and journals. Her recent article “Food-related aggression in shelter dogs: A comparison of behavior identified by a behavior evaluation in the shelter and owner reports after adoption” was published in the journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science and was very well received. Dr. Marder is also an adjunct assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, is a frequent lecturer at veterinary and behavior meetings and teaches students on a regular basis.
Jessica Dolce is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator via the Green Cross of Traumatology, receiving her training through The Figley Institute and Tend Academy. She teaches compassion fatigue classes, online and around the country, to help animal care and welfare professionals be well, while they do good work. Jessica brings fifteen years of experience working with and for companion animals to her classes. Her project, Dogs In Need Of Space, provides support to dog owners and animal care professionals around the world. Jessica received her Master of Science in Adult and Higher Education degree from the University of Southern Maine and holds certificates in mindfulness facilitation and positive psychology coaching. She can be found online at jessicadolce.com
Dr. Katherine Polak currently serves as the Head of Stray Animal Care – Southeast Asia for Four Paws International (Vier Pfoten). Before assuming this position, Dr. Polak served as the International Director at Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket, Thailand for over 3 years where she worked on a variety of animal welfare issues include the dog meat trade, stray animal overpopulation, and culling of free-roaming dogs by government agencies. Dr. Polak is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine and a former resident in Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida Shelter Medicine Program and a former intern in Shelter Medicine and Surgery at Colorado State University. She has also earned a Master in Forensic Science and a Master of Public Health.
Leonard (L. A.) King hails from the great state of Texas. Through his professional journey, there is not much he has not done in the realm of veterinary medicine. He graduated from Texas A&M University, performed a small animal internship at Colorado State University, and attended a small animal surgical residency at a referral practice in Southern California. He has owned his own practice, worked as an associate and relief veterinarian, in referral practice, and academia. More recently, Dr. King also began working in shelters and performing high quality, high volume spay/neuter.
While in academia he helped develop novel procedures and devices to aid in solving complex problems with human disease conditions, such as melanoma imaging and targeted melanoma treatment, pancreatic cancer treatment, left ventricular assist devices for heart failure, vagal nerve stimulators for refractory epilepsy, and other research endeavors. This experience opened the door to his current passion best practices in animal welfare.
He now devotes his career to that cause. His most proud accomplishment is that he has spayed and neutered over 100,000 animals of various species. Dr. King currently serves as the medical director of the SPCA of East Texas which provides rescue, foster, adoption, high quality high volume spay/neuter, and wellness services to a large portion of East Texas. The knowledge and resources provided by the UF Shelter Medicine Program have helped him to improve animal welfare across that entire region.
The program has also helped him build on his own experiences in disaster preparedness. In 2005, Dr. King helped smooth the transition for refugees fleeing Katrina’s devastation with their animals. In 2008, he was grateful for a good generator as he weathered Hurricane Ike in the shelter where he was working at the time.
Dr. King’s other passion is music. He has been a professional lead guitarist for 35 years and still loves to perform on stage today. He plays a wide array of music from country to classic rock but is most noted for his southern blues guitar. What can you expect with a name like “L. A. King”? When he is not out saving the world, you will find him bending the strings on his guitar with his best buddy “Bandit” (rescued toy poodle) next to him.
Dr. Wright is a 1977 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She spent her early years in private practice as a practice owner in southern Indiana. During those years, she developed an interest in behavior medicine, completing a practitioner sabbatical at the Purdue University Animal Behavior Clinic in 2004 and earning a certificate as a training partner with the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior in 2008.
In 2007, Dr. Wright moved to Michigan and accepted a position as shelter veterinarian at a large open-admission municipal shelter in Grand Rapids, MI. During her five years as shelter veterinarian, she worked with animal control to provide forensic investigation support as well as shelter population management, medical and surgical services for the shelter. In 2013, she earned the Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine from the University of Florida online program and has worked as a TA for the program since that time.
Dr. Wright is currently the Program Director for Veterinary Technology for Baker College, Muskegon, MI. She enjoys teaching and preparing students for careers in veterinary medicine, emphasizing the importance of behavior medicine, shelter medicine and public health. She is currently working toward completion of the online Master’s Degree in Shelter Medicine with the University of Florida.
Dr. Spencer brings a unique background in both science education and veterinary medicine to the UF Shelter Medicine Program. During her first career, she worked as a science educator for K-Junior College students as well as a curriculum developer for the American Chemical Society and for National Science Foundation grants. During her second career, she worked as a small animal veterinarian, owned a veterinary practice, and worked full-time as a shelter veterinarian for both open and limited-admissions animal shelters in California and Florida. She has experience with managing disease outbreaks in shelters, conducting cruelty investigations, training volunteers to assist with disasters, providing testimony as an expert witness in criminal animal cruelty trials, working with victims of domestic violence and their pets, performing sterilization surgeries in high-volume shelters, developing standard operating procedures for busy animal shelters, and serving on advisory boards for the improvement of animal shelters. Her current mission is to develop distance learning programs to meet the needs of practicing veterinarians who desire to develop expertise in shelter medicine.
Dr. Byrd is the Associate Director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. At the University of Florida, he instructs courses in forensic science at the University of Florida’s nationally recognized Hume Honors College. He is a Board Certified Forensic Entomologist and Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology. He was twice elected President of the American Board of Forensic Entomology, and is a Past-President of the North American Forensic Entomology Association. He is the first person to be elected President of both professional North American Forensic Entomology Associations. He served for over a decade as a faculty member of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine.
Outside of academics Dr. Byrd serves a within the National Disaster Medical System, Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, Region IV. He also serves as the Logistics Chief for the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System. Currently he serves as a subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology. He has published numerous scientific articles on the use and application of entomological evidence in legal investigations. Dr. Byrd has combined his formal academic training in Entomology and Forensic Science to serve as a consultant and educator in both criminal and civil legal investigations throughout the United States and Internationally. Dr. Byrd specializes in the education of law enforcement officials, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, and other death investigators on the use and applicability of arthropods in legal investigations. His research efforts have focused on the development and behavior of insects that have forensic importance, and he has over 15 years experience in the collection and analysis of entomological evidence. Dr. Byrd is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and serves as the Director of Education for the ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program at the University of Florida.
Dr. Boyd is a native of Lancaster County Pennsylvania. Lancaster is known for its strong Amish community, its small town atmosphere, and miles and miles of outlet malls. That is where Vickie’s family raised horses and where Vickie began rescuing animals. She attended the Pennsylvania State University before obtaining her veterinary degree from the University of Tennessee. She worked with all sorts of animals in private practice, including the local zoo and marine aquarium, before completing a postdoctoral fellowship and Masters degree in Comparative Medicine at The Pennsylvania State University. That led to a research career in vaccine development.
Victoria worked with laboratories that developed the technologies of high titer puppy and kitten vaccines, duration of immunity vaccines and schedules, and then the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine which most people know as Gardisil. What many people don’t know is that Gardisil was developed without using induced animal models of cancer. Most of the work was conducted in true spontaneous animal models of contagious cancers. She was always working in shelters as part of her vaccine research and for the past 10 years, the major focus of her work has been Shelter Medicine and High Quality High Volume Spay and Neuter surgery.
She completed the Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida and was a moderator for the Association of Shelter Veterinarians listserv. She currently serves as an Instructor at the University of Florida in the Shelter Medicine curriculum. Her two passions are making veterinary care available and affordable and community cat management. Both these programs are important life-saving measures that help us keep animals out of shelters. Within the shelter, her focus is emotional wellness and enrichment and her most favorite part of the specialty will always be HQHV surgery!
Victoria only recently moved back to Pennsylvania and to her home town of Lancaster. She shares her home with her younger son, Luke, her wonderful dog, Ricky, several cats, a rabbit, a few snakes, and any number of fosters. Her son shares her love of animals and all of their pets are failed fosters! She owns a locum practice and works in shelter, HQHV, emergency, and general, and academic practice.