Home / Newsroom / Heroes to America’s Animals: Meet the Winners of the 2022 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™, Presented by Zoetis

Heroes to America’s Animals: Meet the Winners of the 2022 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™, Presented by Zoetis

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, October 24, 2022American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, today announced the winners of the 9th annual American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™, presented by Zoetis. Selected from a pool of more than 500 nominees and a combination of votes from the public and a blue-ribbon judging panel of veterinary professionals and animal care experts, Dr. Raquel Fagan is the 2022 American Hero Veterinarian and Cheri Herschell is the American Hero Veterinary Nurse.

“The world’s animals depend on veterinarians and veterinary nurses, and we are honored to recognize their achievements in saving lives, conducting groundbreaking research, and working on the front lines for the animals in their communities,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “Dr. Fagan and Ms. Herschell are incredible animal welfare advocates, and we are thrilled to bestow upon them the title of 2022 American Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse. A special thanks to our friends at Zoetis for sponsoring this national campaign and helping us celebrate the humane heroes behind our hero pets.”

America’s veterinarians and veterinary nurses save and improve the lives of our furry, winged and finned friends every day, and for the past eight years, the American Humane Hero Vet Awards has honored their tremendous achievements. Professionals from all fields of veterinary medicine were eligible for entry including, but not limited to, those who work in research, emergency services, shelters, and those who work with large and exotic animals.

Dr. Raquel Fagan from Mount Dora, Florida is the 2022 American Hero Veterinarian. Since becoming the owner of Shamrock Animal Hospital in 2016, Dr. Fagan and her team have pursued a simple mission: Do Great Work, Have Fun and Give Back. Dr. Fagan serves the animal health needs of families throughout central Florida based on the simple idea that every patient is unique and deserves the individual care and attention that her education and experience have blessed her with. Since 2019, Dr. Fagan has also served as the medical director for Patriot Service Dogs, a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for veterans. By donating her time and resources, along with generous donations of products and services from veterinary industry partners, Dr. Fagan provides all vaccinations, heartworm prevention and spay/neuter services at no cost to PSD. PSD completes a significant portion of training in the largest women’s prison in Florida. The WOOF program allows incarcerated women to work with and train the dogs. On multiple occasions throughout the year, Dr. Fagan visits the prison to provide wellness exams and vaccinations for dogs that are in training. She also educates the inmate-trainers on a broad range of canine health topics and shares opportunities that they may have in the animal health field following their release.

Cheri Herschell from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the 2022 American Hero Veterinary Nurse. Herschell offers immeasurable contributions to Crisis Center North and its PAWS for Empowerment Program. She trains CCN staff on appropriate interactions with working dogs and certifies the canine handler teams who work hands-on with clients in counseling and court work. Her medical expertise as a veterinary technician is invaluable in creating guidelines for the working dogs, ensuring they are both mentally and physically healthy. As a canine intervention specialist at CCN, Herschell attends magisterial court as a legal advocate with Canine Advocate, Rune. She also develops and offers presentations for veterinary staff and students about the intersectionality of human and animal abuse. Herschell’s 15 years of experience working as a veterinary nurse allow her to make a connection with a community which plays an invaluable role in keeping victims and their companion animals safe. She has reached more than 600 veterinary professionals with a tiered curriculum designed to help vets recognize their role as advocates in the fight against family violence.

“Zoetis continues to find ways to support America’s dedicated veterinary community, and the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards are our way of thanking these devoted individuals,” said Tara Bidgood, DVM, PhD, DACVCP, executive director, Veterinary Professional Services & Medical Affairs, U.S. Petcare, Zoetis. “We are honored to recognize veterinarians and veterinary nurses who are leading the effort to keep animals, and the bond they share with their people, strong and healthy.”

Dr. Fagan and Herschel will be recognized at the star-studded American Humane Hero Dog Awards® gala on November 11 in Palm Beach, Florida.


American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, overseeing the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information or to support our lifesaving work, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.


As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide – from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners. The company’s leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. A Fortune 500 company, Zoetis generated revenue of $7.8 billion in 2021 with approximately 12,100 employees. For more, visit

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