UF veterinary college faculty member honored by national shelter group

Dr. Julie Levy
Dr. Julie Levy

Dr. Julie Levy, a professor of shelter medicine at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Meritorious Service Award from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

The award was presented during the annual meeting of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, held Oct. 5-8 in Atlanta.

A board-certified small animal internal medicine specialist, Levy is associated with the UF Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program. She was nominated for the award by two of her former residents, Dr. Staci Cannon, who now serves as medical director of Metro Animal Care and Control in Nashville, and Dr. Amie Burling, who is an assistant teaching professor with the University of Missouri’s shelter medicine program.

Cannon and Burling called Levy “a true pioneer” whose contributions to the field of shelter medicine over the past three decades have had a profound international impact on community animals and the humans who care about them.

“Dr. Levy’s career achievements could be strikingly quantified through hundreds of research publications, hundreds of students trained, millions of dollars raised for shelter medicine and millions of cats and dogs saved, but her true impact on our new specialty is even more lasting,” the former residents wrote in their nomination letter. “She has dedicated her life to a vision where words hold precise and meticulous power to advance understanding, where better is always possible, and where knowledge and intellect serve the least represented among us.”

Levy, who joined the faculty in 1997, also founded Operation Catnip, a local organization that brings together veterinarians, technicians, students and community volunteers in an effort to trap, neuter and return stray and feral cats to their environment. The program, which has provided free neuter and vaccination services for more than 50,000 cats since it was founded in 1998, has been replicated in other veterinary schools around the world.

The award was established in 2010 to honor a remarkable Association of Shelter Veterinarians member for their contributions to the advancement of the field through leadership, public service, research, education, advocacy and/or clinical practice. The award recognizes those who serve as exceptional ambassadors of the profession.