The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently honored Dr. Harry Werner as the winner of the 2020 AVMA Animal Welfare Award.

The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of their achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.

“For more than 40 years, Dr. Werner has represented the profession as a passionate advocate for animal welfare, becoming a trusted authority in the field and earning the respect and admiration of his colleagues along the way,” says Dr. John Howe, president of the AVMA. “He is a true leader in animal welfare and very deserving of this honor.”

An animal welfare authority, Werner has served the veterinary profession for more than 4 decades as a solo practitioner in rural Connecticut and as a volunteer for several national organizations, including the AVMA, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the World Equine Veterinary Association, the Right Horse Initiative and the Unwanted Horse Coalition. Werner has served as the AAEP’s representative to the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee and represented the AVMA and AAEP on the Unwanted Horse Coalition.

For his contributions and leadership in the equine industry and his efforts in improving equine wellbeing, Werner was elected to the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame in 2013 and awarded the AAEP’s Distinguished Life Member Award in 2017. In 2016, the Seth and Lucy Holcombe estate established the Dr. Harry Werner Professorship in Equine Medicine at the New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine — a position dedicated to teaching, research and clinical outreach in equine welfare and wellbeing. In 2015, he was named Veterinarian of the Year by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association.

“Dr. Werner’s dedication, excellent communication skills, and the innate ability to maneuver around and through emotional and oftentimes misunderstood welfare conditions are his greatest strength,” says Dr. Tom Lenz, recipient of the 2010 AVMA Animal Welfare Award. “But it is his passion and sincere belief in the wellbeing of all animals that truly drove him to be the success that he is.”

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 95,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.