In Memoriam – Leonard King

Dr. Leonard (L. A.) King, DVM

Dr. Leonard (L. A.) King, DVM

During the Pandemic of 2020, we lost our dear friend and colleague, Dr. L.A. King.  He was passionate about shelter medicine, teaching, HQHV Spay Neuter, and his rescued pet, “Bandit.”  He was also great fun when he played his guitar and sang for our online faculty members.  Dr. King had a distinguished career in veterinary practice in Texas, scientific research with Texas A & M, completed a surgical residency at Colorado State University, and became associated with the Online Graduate Program in Shelter Medicine from the inception in 2012.  We sorely miss him and so does our profession.  RIP. 

booth at vmxDr. 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, attended a small animal surgical residency at a referral practice in Southern California, and obtained a graduate certificate in shelter medicine from the University of Florida. He has owned his own practice, worked as an associate and relief veterinarian, and worked in referral practice and academia as a clinician, instructor, and research scientist. 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 for 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 a high-quality high volume spay/neuter surgeon and wellness doctor at Texas Litter Control and is the lead instructor for the online Introduction to Veterinary Disaster Response course in the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program. The knowledge and resources provided by the UF Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program have helped him to improve animal welfare across the 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. In 2017 he helped establish temporary shelters after the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

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.