TVMF Latest News

December 2013

Meaningful Last-Minute Gifts for 2013

As the year draws to a close, many of us are looking for ways to give back to the communities we call home. During this season of giving, please consider giving a gift that impacts lives—human and animal alike—all year long. From underwriting services for a companion animal that would otherwise be separated from their human family to scholarships for ambitious veterinary students, your gift to the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) will make a difference.

I am deeply proud of the partnership we have built with community members throughout Texas, and your support enables us to more effectively advocate for the health and welfare of animals in Texas and reinforce the human-animal bond between pets and their human families.

But we can’t do this alone. We rely on generous donations from individuals all across Texas to maintain our programs and help human-animal families like these:

“I’m a widow, and my pet helps to fill the void in my life. Having your program allows me to have him. I’m on Social Security, and that doesn’t go far. Thank you, and God bless you all.”

“My precious kitty died recently, and our vet sent a donation to [the] Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation in her memory. I was so touched to receive [a] card and the opportunity to post a picture and bio to [your] Memorial Wall! It’s like being able to have an obituary for a pet, and I never expected to find anything like that. It was such a thoughtful gesture from the vet. What an easy way to help ease someone’s pain from losing a pet while doing good with a charitable contribution at the same time.”

So please don’t wait. Click HERE now to make your tax-deductible gift today and change a life. A response card is also included for your convenience should you prefer to mail your gift. Thank you for your generosity.


Leah Ann Tibbitts
Director, Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation

November 2013

2013 TVMF Texas Animal Hall of Fame Inductee

In 1984, the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) created the Texas Animal Hall of Fame to share the joy of the human-animal bond by recognizing exceptional animals. Through the Texas Animal Hall of Fame, TVMF strives to honor the outstanding contributions our animal companions make to human lives, to heighten public awareness of the human-animal bond and to allow animal lovers to share in celebrating their pet’s accomplishments by serving as nominators. Nominations are sought in three categories: hero, companion and professional. TMVF is proud to announce the 2013 Texas Animal Hall of Fame inductee.

Cody, a magnetic and charismatic golden retriever, is the 2013 winner in the Professional category, which recognizes a remarkable specially trained assistance animal.

Cody’s owner, cherished companion and selfless chauffer is Bob Stiles, and together they’ve embarked on a journey to help those searching for light amid dark and dreadful times.

Cody is a Certified Therapy Dog and Disaster Stress Relief Dog. He obtained these accreditations through Therapy Dogs International by undergoing evaluations and passing the required tests. Stiles also was obligated to take four courses on the subject and be psychologically analyzed for the volunteer work.

Cody is one of only four certified Disaster Stress Relief Dogs in the state of Texas and one of approximately 60 in the nation.

“What is the task of a Therapy or Disaster Stress Relief Dog?” one might ask. According to Therapy Dogs International, studies have been conducted to show that a person holding or petting an animal will release strain and tension, lower their blood pressure and possibly relieve a person of depression and loneliness.

These certified animals are taken to locations of distress and tragedy where their presence of love, happiness and lifted spirits surround the victims or patients. This allows the person to shift focus from the bad happenings in their stressful or dreary situations.

Stiles and Cody began their journey visiting nursing homes in Columbus, Weimar, Schulenburg and La Grange. On average, they visited 10 homes a month, passing on the genuine joy shown through Cody’s canine grin.

Being a part of the disaster relief task force, Stiles and Cody were called upon for several occasions. The duo contributed their time and efforts to the victims of the Bastrop fires as well as those in Noble, Oklahoma.

Their next deploy led them to the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West. About a month later, disaster struck in Moore, Oklahoma, where the team traveled most recently, when the area was hit by two EF5 tornadoes that demolished anything and everything in their paths. Stiles and Cody endured the second tornado as they sheltered in an underground tornado protection with a couple. For 10 days, they visited those who lost their homes, giving comfort and moral support. In the face of immense tragedy, Cody’s infectious charm invoked smiles from tornado victims.

Cody seems to be able to sense when someone needs one of his signature hugs, guaranteed to bring a smile to the gloomiest of faces. Upon greeting, he leans his head on one’s leg and wraps his neck around as if he were giving a hug.

“When he does that, people just want to hug him back," Stiles said. "It makes them feel very special. Therapy is very real, and it’s very instant.”

Cody is a dog capable of bringing words to the lips of a speechless patient and a smile to those who have lost nearly everything. The work of any living creature naturally gifted in creating light in darkness must be perceived as truly remarkable.

The Perfect Holiday Card

Still looking for the perfect holiday card to send out to your client list? Look no further as the TVMF VetArt program has you covered! Simply click on this link to order your customized holiday card. Not only will your order support TVMF but you could save an additional 25 percent if you order by November 15!

About Ron Burns Holiday Cards

  • Size: 4.25 x 6
  • Quantities available: 250 to 10,000+
  • Blank white envelopes included or upgrade to custom-printed envelopes
  • Full-color 4:4 printing
  • Aqueous coating
  • Pre-folded
  • Upgrade your notecards with a QR code on card back that links to your website (optional)
  • Add your business logo to the card front (select designs only, optional)
  • Printed in the USA
  • Turn-around time: Approximately two weeks


October 2013

Join TVMF for Our Oath in Action Day

October 26 marks National Make a Difference Day, and the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine are teaming up with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to participate in Our Oath in Action Day, which is an opportunity for members of the veterinary community to bring their skills and knowledge to bear on service projects that will engage and educate pet owners and animal lovers on a range of topics related to animal healthcare.

TVMF, local veterinarians and veterinary students will be in College Station to help educate pet owners about pet toxicity threats they should be aware of over the holidays. The event, which will take place three hours before the Aggie football kickoff in a booth in the Fan Zone in front of Kyle Field, will help answer questions like "Is your home hazard-free?" and "Does your pooch sniff out chocolate?" With the holidays right around the corner, many things that make the holidays so merry could be harmful to your pet’s health. Fans who stop by the Our Oath in Action Day booth in the Fan Zone in front of Kyle Field will receive some helpful pet poison tips to get ready for the holiday season!

Interested in joining us? Contact TVMF Director Leah Ann Tibbitts at 512/452-4224 orltibbitts@tvma.org for more information.

August 2013

Calling All Heroes!

TVMF is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Texas Animal Hall of Fame. Through the Texas Animal Hall of Fame, TVMF has the privilege of recognizing a few of our incredible animal companions each year while also celebrating the human-animal bond with veterinarians and the public. If you have treated an animal that has displayed heroism or remarkable loyalty or service, please take the time to nominate the animal for the Texas Animal Hall of Fame in one of the following three categories: Hero, Companion or Professional. Applications may be found HERE and are accepted through September 15.

July 2013

TVMF Announces VetArt Partnership

Looking for a way to give back to TVMF through a little redecorating? VetArt, which supplies reproductions of artist Ron Burns' work to veterinary clinics around the country, is now offering a 20-percent discount to supporters of TVMF. When a portrait is purchased from the TVMF VetArt store, TVMF will earn a 10-percent net commission on all sales processed through our store. Visit the TVMF store at www.tvmf.org today!

June 2013

TVMF Offers Pet Heatstroke Prevention Event at Auditorium Shores in Austin

They say there are only two kinds of weather in a Texas summer—hot and hotter. To keep ourselves safe during those sweltering temperatures, we make sure to hydrate and wear sunscreen, but our four-legged friends also require some preventative measures to stay safe during the hottest months of the year.

The Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the health and welfare of animals throughout Texas, offers heatstroke prevention events throughout the state as a way to educate pet owners on the importance of summer safety for their pets. During the event, which is sponsored by TVMF, Austin Animal Center and Iams, pet owners can learn how to prevent heatstroke, how to recognize the signs of heatstroke and what to do if their pet overheats.

This free event will take place at the Fannie Davis Gazebo at Auditorium Shores in Austin on Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We invite you to drop by for some helpful information on heatstroke prevention and free goodies for you and Fido.

I Live Here I Give Here Spotlights TVMF

Each month, the nonprofit organization I Live Here I Give Here (ILHIGH), which is dedicated to expanding the culture of personal philanthropy, has a Community Needs Spotlight in which the public learns about a specific issue in Central Texas. They meet with area experts, gather their knowledge and insights and create a monthly Issue Paper that they publish on their website and distribute in print. ILHIGH selects three nonprofits to highlight for that month and produces a Community Needs Spotlight video for that organization. The month of May's spotlight is on Animal Welfare, and TVMF was chosen as one of three organizations to spotlight! You can watch the video at http://vimeo.com/65254841.


April 2013

TVMF Offers Pet Heatstroke Prevention Event at North Bark Park in Dallas

They say there are only two kinds of weather in a Texas summer—hot and hotter. To keep ourselves safe during those sweltering temperatures, we make sure to hydrate and wear sunscreen, but our four-legged friends also require some preventative measures to stay safe during the hottest months of the year.

The Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the health and welfare of animals throughout Texas, offers heatstroke prevention events as way to educate pet owners on the importance of summer safety for their pets. During the event, which is sponsored by TVMF, Dr. Nancy Turner of Bent Tree Animal Hospital in Dallas, Royal Canin and Merial, pet owners can learn how to prevent heatstroke, how to recognize the signs of heatstroke and what to do if their pet overheats.

This free event will take place at North Bark Park in Dallas on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Because the timing of the event coincides with National Heartworm Prevention Month, veterinarians and TVMF representatives will also be providing information on the importance of heartworm preventatives. In addition to the educational materials on heatstroke and heartworms, pet owners will also receive free goodies for their four-legged friends.

Dare to Do Something Different
By J. Scott Mellina, DVM, TVMF President

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always have what you’ve always had.”

We have all heard these words at one time or another, so simple but yet very powerful. Let’s take a look at this phrase in reference to the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) and Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA). It is applicable to the membership, leadership and board members as well as to committee members.

The lifeblood of all these entities is of course involvement from people, individuals donating their time to help with decisions to better the profession. However, the engine behind the entities that actually allows them to function is financial backing and support. TVMF and TVMA could not do what they do without financial commitments to drive the budgets.

Whether as an individual or as a part of the group as a member, leader, chairman, committee member or staff person, we all have responsibilities to help these organizations succeed. Stepping out of what we have always done to make these organizations better is where this phrase becomes important. We can continue to do what we have done, help where we have in the past, and the entities will continue as they always have. Or, I would suggest, we can be different and do things differently from what we have always done and watch the entities grow and prosper.

TVMF and TVMA provide multiple opportunities for causing big changes by being different. My office manager told me that she would never have started the Memorial Gift Program if I had not been involved with the state association. That hurdle of getting people involved is a problem we need to overcome. Our clinic now supports multiple foundations with memorial gifts on behalf of the animals that have passed away in our practice. I can tell you it has been the best thing we have ever done. The clients have been so appreciative, more than I ever would have thought, and in doing so, we also support TVMF with the donations received from the program.

TVMF also has the Buck-a-Year program. Give a dollar to TVMF for every year you have been out of veterinary school. Whether it's four years or 30-plus years, it’s not much money. If you feel so inclined, you can double the amount you donate. It’s still not very much for such a grand cause.

TVMF has expanded the number of student awards we give to the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. We continue to support research at the College as well. Also, we are reaching out to other communities after pilot programs serving the public in Austin have been so successful. We are spreading to Dallas and Houston, while continuing in Austin by branding the TVMF name and mission statement with heatstroke prevention awareness events and efforts to expand the TVMF P.A.L.S. program, our partnership with Meals on Wheels and More of Austin. We are dedicated to showing Texans that TVMF is a foundation they can recognize and depend on. We want these communities to know that we have their pets' health and welfare at heart and as part of our mission. These are events that will only be possible with monetary support from the membership.

TVMA offers ways we can step away from what we have always done to do something different as well. There are business alliances that are in place to support the veterinarian while also generating non-dues revenue for the association. These revenues, of course, offset dues increases by supporting the budget. The number of members that use these services is far from saturated. Even the percentage in leadership positions that utilize all these alliances as well as participate in the TVMF Memorial Gift Program is low. By utilizing these services just like many of you do, our clinic has realized a substantial savings and found value in the alliances. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get more members to use the services, reaping the benefits for themselves of lower insurance costs, lower credit-card merchant fees and much more and at the same time generating such non-dues revenues to the point that we could actually lower the dues for each member?

I challenge each of you to do something different this year. Take a chance. Go out on that limb; it won’t break. Sign up for the TVMF Memorial Gift Program. Give to the Buck-a-Year program. Sign up with the TVMA Business Alliances that are available. Let’s make “what you’ve always done and always had” different and better.

I promise that helping and utilizing any of these programs and alliances will be seamless and easy as well as beneficial to your practice and our state associations.

Just do it!


TVMF P.A.L.S. Update
By Leah Ann Tibbitts, TVMF Director

TVMF launched the TVMF Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors (P.A.L.S.) program, it’s partnership with Meals on Wheels and More of Austin (MOWAM), in February 2012. Through this partnership, 42 pets belonging to MOWAM clients received wellness exams, vaccines and preventatives. Three of those pets also received a much-needed dental cleaning. So what’s next for the TVMF P.A.L.S. program? Currently, TVMF is seeking additional funding through donations and grants to expand the program outside of Austin. The Meals on Wheels programs in Waco and Dallas have already expressed interest in partnering to provide veterinary care for their clients' pets. TVMF is very excited about the future of this program and to providing veterinary care to pets in need.

TVMF Clay Shoot and Auction

A huge thank you to all who participated in this year's clay shoot and to our sponsors Merial, Patterson Veterinary, Brazos Valley Genetics, Butler Schein and Medical Digital Imaging. Also, thank you to everyone who helped support TVMF by bidding on items at the live and silent auctions this weekend.



February 2013

Support TVMF at the TVMA Annual Conference

The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) Annual Conference is right around the corner, and we're looking forward to seeing you there! Along with all of the great educational programming the conference will feature this year, don’t forget about the social fun to be had as well! On Friday, March 1, the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) will host itsAnnual Sporting Clay Shoot Tournament (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) at the beautiful Tonkaway Ranch, located along the Navasota River in College Station. Owner Kyle Kacal is excited to host our wonderful members and provide each of you with exceptional service and a successful shoot!

Friday’s festivities continue with the TVMA Welcome Reception at 4:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel in College Station. This welcome reception offers attendees a relaxing environment to visit with exhibiting companies while catching up with classmates and colleagues over appetizers and adult beverages. In 2013, TVMA will celebrate 110 years of heritage, leadership and service to the veterinary profession. Join us as we reflect on where we've been and where we are headed.

Start off Saturday’s festivities with College Station’s own hidden treasure, Chef Kevin Kimbrough. Chef has agreed to prepare a fabulous three-course meal in front of an audience one delicious course at a time. With a serving of each course, luncheon guests will receive instruction on pairing the right wine with the course along with a sampling of the wine. This culinary demonstration and lunch is limited to 30 participants. Bon appetit!

Also, don’t forget about the Mad Hatter Celebration on Saturday, March 2, where Dr. and Mrs. Jed Ford welcome everyone to take a journey to where a mad, mad tea party awaits and guests are a little out of the ordinary. A live and silent auction benefiting TVMF will also be one of the evening’s featured events. We are counting on the generosity of spirited bidders and in-kind donors to provide the unique, exclusive items and opportunities offered for auction. Bid items will include hotel stays, veterinary supplies, artwork, jewelry and much, much more. All proceeds from the auction will go to TVMF.

Without your generous support, the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation would not be the organization it is today. Thank you so much for being a part of TVMA and TVMF!

For more information about the sporting clay shoot, sponsorship opportunities or donating items for the TVMF live and silent auction, please contact TVMF Director Leah Ann Tibbitts at 512/452-4224 or ltibbitts@tvma.org.

January 2013

Earn a Donation for Your Favorite Cause Every Time You Dine Out!

What if you could earn a donation for your favorite cause, like the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF), every time you dine out at no extra cost to you? Now you can! When you register for GoodDining, 6% of your restaurant bill will automatically be donated to the charity or school of your choice.

The GoodDining Program allows members to earn donations for the cause of their choice at thousands of participating restaurants, bars and clubs. It's an easy-to-use program that's totally discreet and cost-free. Earn up to 6% for your cause every time you dine out. Visit theGoodDining website to sign up and start donating to TVMF today!

Buck-A-Year Program

You should have received by now information on TVMF’s Buck-A-Year Program, which is an annual gift campaign that every veterinarian can afford. Contributions made to the Buck-A-Year Program fund grants to the Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Scientist Research Training Program. TAMU’s research program ensures that veterinary students will continue to be introduced to research and the benefits research has on the profession and the practice of veterinary medicine. Remember!! Every year, the VMSRTP funding from TVMF will be made in the name of the veterinary graduating class that contributes the most to TVMF’s Buck-A-Year program from July through June of the following year.



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