Patricia N. Olson Appointed Chief Veterinary Advisor at American Humane Association to Lead New Animal Welfare and Research Institute

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WASHINGTON - Patricia N. Olson, D.V.M., has been appointed Chief Veterinary Advisor at American Humane Association, the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals. Olson, previously the President and Chief Executive Officer of Morris Animal Foundation, will lead a new American Humane Association initiative: Animal Welfare and Research.

“Dr. Olson brings a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge to this position,” said American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D. “This important new work will increase our impact on, and enhance our value to, a broader constituency, including the millions of animals we are dedicated to protecting — and the people who interact with them on a daily basis. Dr. Olson’s exceptional background in veterinary science, research, education, animal welfare and human-animal interaction, along with her strategic insight, make her an ideal leader for our Animal Welfare and Research Institute.”

Olson is a highly sought-after speaker and counselor to organizations and governmental agencies around the world. She helped establish many programs that foster the human-animal bond — from preventing animal and child abuse, to promoting humane dog-training methods, to advising governments and industries on humane and healthful transportation for animals worldwide. She is a co-founder of the National Council on Pet Population and Policy, a group that identified risk factors and intervention strategies for pet relinquishment, and she has won numerous awards for her work to advance animal health and welfare.

“I am thrilled to work for an association that strives to make our world a better place for animals and children,” Olson said. “Strategic science should help both of these vulnerable populations enjoy happier and healthier lives. As both a veterinarian and a grandmother, this is a goal that I am happy and honored to work toward!”

As Chief Veterinary Advisor, Olson will be responsible for a range of American Humane Association activities that include identifying research opportunities to advance the health and welfare of children and animals; using science to define the key elements that advance and sustain the human-animal bond; promoting and developing academic programs to enhance veterinary medical education in animal welfare; identifying strategies for research opportunities to prevent disease and injury to animals; promoting scientific discovery to advance legislative/regulatory changes for the benefit of animals; and developing strategic alliances and partnerships with organizations and institutions to promote animal health and welfare.

Olson was President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation from 2005 to 2010 and was Executive Director from 2004 to 2005. Previously, she worked for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., as Director, Training Operations, and then as Director, Canine Health and Training Operations. Her career has also included positions as Veterinary Advisor for the International Air Transport Association, Associate Director of the Center to Study Human and Animal Relationships and Environments (CenSHARE) at the University of Minnesota, and Congressional Science Fellow (American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science) for the U.S. Senate. In addition, she worked for American Humane Association from 1995 to 1998 as Director, Veterinary Affairs and Studies. Her academic degrees include doctor of veterinary medicine and master of science from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in reproductive physiology and endocrinology from Colorado State University.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

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