From the Dean
In an ideal world, every animal disease would have a cure; every pet would have a loving home; and the University of Florida's
College of Veterinary Medicine would be a place where medical discoveries happen every day to solve animal, human and environ-
mental health problems.
At our college, we live and work according to these beliefs and hopes. Our framework for achieving those goals is in place. To make
a difference in the lives of every pet owner as well as in human and environmental health we must simultaneously maintain the
incredible institution we already have and strengthen existing programs with the help of your financial gifts.
Our goals for the Florida Tomorrow campaign are not extravagant. We have faculty and staff who are poised for the challenge. And our
stakeholders including clients such as Florida's agriculture, equine and public health constituencies, and donors and other friends of
the college are ready to make change happen. We have teamed with colleagues across the UF campus to make still greater progress
in the diagnosis and treatment of emerging diseases, such as West Nile virus.
Already we offer our students fresh approaches to address the related problems of stray animals and unwanted pets in our commu-
nity through our shelter medicine and Operation Catnip programs. We hope to enhance student learning opportunities with a new
simulation resource laboratory that would supplement what we are already doing to reduce reliance on animals in teaching. Our long-
established wildlife and zoo medicine program is one of the best in the country. We plan to take what's already available and strengthen
the program by expanding our efforts in aquatic animal health.
We depend on your support to help reach those goals in these and other key areas, including equine soundness and veterinary oncol-
ogy. Please help us reach Florida Tomorrow, today.
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
The Promise of Tomorrow
What is Florida Tomorrow? Here at the University of Florida's
College of Veterinary Medicine, we believe it's an opportunity,
one filled with promise and hope. It's that belief that feeds the
university's capital campaign to raise more than $1 billion.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign will shape the university, cer-
tainly. But its ripple effect will also touch the state of Florida,
the nation and the entire world. Florida Tomorrow is pioneering
research and spirited academic programs. It's a fertile environment
for inquiry, teaching and learning. It's being at the forefront to
address the challenges facing all of us, both today and tomorrow.
What is Florida Tomorrow? At the College of Veterinary
Medicine, it's our pledge to support the community, faculty, stu-
dents and animals. It's our commitment to care for animals, here
on campus and throughout the state of Florida and the Southeast
United States. And it's our promise to future generations to foster
tomorrow's next great veterinarians.
UF College of Veterinary Medicine
Florida Tomorrow Campaign Goals
TOTAL $40 million
Florida Tomorrow is a place ...
where medical discoveries solve animal, human
and environmental problems.
When the West Nile virus broke out among horses nationwide,
the scene, says veterinarian Maureen Long, was "devastating."
Long, an equine infectious disease specialist at the University
of Florida, had seen West Nile arrive in Florida in 2001. The fol-
lowing year, some 14,000 cases emerged across the country. Its
effects were traumatic to horses and their owners.
"When a horse is sick and neurologically disabled and can't
keep its balance, it's not only devastating for the horse, it's dan-
gerous for everyone around the horse," Long says. "Calls were
coming in from all over the country from practitioners who were
horrified by what they were seeing."
Not only were the effects of the virus staggering, but its spread
came right on the heels of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists' attacks and
the anthrax scare.
"Everyone was traumatized," Long says. "There was hysteria
among horse owners."
As the disease spread, Long put her research on other diseases
aside and became the de facto national expert on West Nile in
horses, touring the country to help practitioners prepare for what
they would face. She developed standards to test the effectiveness
of a vaccine to prevent the disease, and is currently studying how
the mosquito-borne virus is spread.
"We don't yet know what species is spreading the virus. Finding
that out will help focus mosquito-control efforts," she says.
Her research will also help horse owners protect animals
from Eastern equine encephalitis, which is also mosquito-borne.
Animals that have been vaccinated for EEE are sometimes still
susceptible to the disease, which makes proper management of
animals in pastures important to their survival. Better protec-
tion will not only safeguard beloved animals, but also the horse
industry, Long notes.
"Florida is producing some of the best thoroughbreds in the
country, and there's a huge quarter horse industry here. Future
Kentucky Derby winners are coming out of here," she says.
"We're trying to determine which kinds of management practices
really have an effect on protecting horses."
Long says that although working with emerging pathogens
has "an incredibly steep learning curve" she's glad to have the
chance to make a global impact on equine health. And the data
she uncovers may play a role in protecting humans from enceph-
alitis, as well.
"Horses are the only other species that consistently gets the
disease from these viruses," she says. "Finding out more about it
is important for human disease, too."
Florida Tomorrow is a day
when every animal disease has a cure.
Dog's Best Friend
The plea for help went out during the holiday season: A
9-year-old police dog and the officer who handled him had been
injured in a high-speed chase on Interstate 95. The officer was in
intensive care, and the dog, a black Labrador named Pepper,
needed major surgery.
The small Georgia police department knew it was likely
beyond its budget to pay for Pepper's diagnosis and treatment
right away, if ever. Of all of the university veterinary hospitals in
the Southeast the McIntosh County Sheriff's Office contacted,
only the University of Florida answered the call.
"Florida was the only one who contacted us back," McIntosh
County's canine supervisor Ty Poppell says. "I can't even describe
how great it felt to have someone say, 'Yes, we can do it.'"
"It would have been hard to turn them down," says UF's Dr.
Roger Clemmons, who operated on Pepper. "Not only was it
Christmas, but I have a real soft spot for dogs who work for a
living. They're doing a good job for us, so we have to take care of
When Pepper arrived at UF, he couldn't stand or walk because
of two herniated discs he suffered in the crash. Although he had
been in pain for more than a week since the accident, Pepper's
winning attitude remained intact.
Clemmons performed the surgery to repair the disc protrusion
on Christmas Eve, bringing Pepper home with him to recover.
"I shared my turkey dinner with him; he liked that,"
Three days later, Pepper was walking once more and ready to
go back to Georgia. In fact, the surgery restored Pepper's move-
ment so well, he has since gone back to work in McIntosh County,
sniffing out illegal drugs. After the story made news in Florida
and Georgia, an anonymous donor stepped forward to cover
Pepper's medical bills.
"Pepper is just one of those dogs who, as soon as they come up
to you, they're your buddy," Clemmons says. "He had this
attitude like, 'If you help me, I'll do everything I can to get well."'
And although he was headed for Georgia Bulldog territory
when he left UF, Pepper went home wearing a Gator T-shirt.
"I have the highest praise for the University of Florida,"
Poppell says now. "It changed me from a Bulldog fan to a Gator
fan. That's not easy around here, but I'm holding my ground."
Florida Tomorrow is a belief ...
that every pet deserves a loving home.
Pets in Need
Bones, a cat named for his skeletal appearance, needed a new
name. Following surgery and weeks of care in the University of
Florida's shelter medicine program, he was entirely too sleek,
healthy and happy for his original moniker, so student Cassie
Quest adopted him and renamed him Charlie.
Charlie had been one of 20 cats taken to the Alachua County
Animal Shelter from a home being investigated for animal cruelty.
Worse than his emaciated appearance was his internal damage.
After being hit by a car, his internal organs had shifted from his
abdomen to his chest cavity, giving him little room to breathe. UF's
team of shelter medicine students, led by Dr. Natalie Isaza, oper-
ated to repair the damage.
Charlie's recovery is just one of many success stories that cover
the bulletin boards at the shelter, where vet students gain hands-on
surgical experience while helping homeless pets.
"It can be shocking. Students see things you wouldn't encounter
in a nice practice where people take care of their pets," Isaza says.
"It really opens their eyes ... They take the rotation for the surgery
experience, but they leave with a lot more."
Through work in shelter medicine, students come to understand
the importance of controlling pet overpopulation.
"They may learn about overpopulation in school, but here they
see it firsthand. It really drives it home," Isaza says. "Even if they
don't want to go into shelter medicine, they can still educate their
clients about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets, or
they can volunteer their time with a spay/neuter organization."
Another program working to curtail overpopulation is Dr. Julie
Levy's Operation Catnip, which spays and neuters feral cats. Levy
has gained national attention for the volunteer-powered program,
which she brought to UF in 1998. Operation Catnip has since ster-
ilized more than 20,000 strays. The effort not only reduces the
suffering of these homeless animals, but addresses the impact of
feral cats on public health and the environment.
The benefits of both programs reach far beyond Gainesville.
Students are carrying the lessons they've learned throughout the
country to help reduce the numbers of homeless animals.
"Several students who have graduated and started their careers
have called to ask how to start spay/neuter operations in their
communities," Levy says. "It's important that they see they can
make a dent in the problem. Without vets playing that critical role,
the problem of homeless animals will never be solved."
L~I.- i + Ns
Our Vision of Tomorrow
The University of Florida's College of
Veterinary Medicine, the state's only vet-
erinary college, is actively engaged in
seeking new ways to further its mission
of advancing animal, human and environ-
In the process of envisioning our future,
anchored by our goals for the Florida
Tomorrow campaign, we have outlined
several key areas in which our college and
Veterinary Medical Center already have
major strengths that could be fortified and
taken to the next level through additional
With a new simulation resource
teaching laboratory, we hope to offer
additional creative learning opportunities
to veterinary students. Professional train-
ing that makes use of simulators which
imitate real-life situations and reduce reli-
ance on animals has become a way of life
in veterinary education. We plan to sup-
plement what our veterinary students are
already doing in this area through the use
of such innovative tools as the Human
Patient Simulator developed as a teach-
ing tool by UF physicians.
Equine soundness is an area that has
received perhaps unprecedented attention
recently through the events surround-
ing the traumatic injuries to Kentucky
Derby winner Barbaro, and his subse-
quent death by euthanasia. Positioned so
closely to Ocala, one of the world's largest
training and breeding centers for perfor-
mance horses, our equine facilities are
poised to provide even better care and
treatment for injuries to the equine athlete.
Equine soundness is a basic and critical
component of Florida's thriving and eco-
nomically important horse industry.
Aquatic animal and wildlife health
is a highly visible and environmentally
important area of focus for our college.
From Florida's aquaculture business,
which is third in the nation in sales,
to the preservation of threatened and
endangered species such as manatees,
sea turtles and Florida right whales, our
aquatic animal medicine program has
played an active role. Through your gifts,
we hope to enhance our existing collab-
orations with the state's rehabilitation
facilities and do still more to pinpoint
emerging diseases threatening aquatic
animals and Florida's environment.
The No. 1 disease seen and treated by
veterinarians at our small animal hospital
is cancer. As a referral center for the entire
Southeast, we see many types of cancer,
both common and uncommon, in our ani-
mal patients. At least one-third of the pets
we see have some type of cancer, includ-
ing melanoma, osteosarcoma, lymphoma,
mast cell tumors, hemangiosarcomas and
soft tissue sarcomas, among others. Our
campaign goals include expanding our
treatment modalities to supplement che-
motherapy and steriotactic radiosurgery
options with radiation oncology made
possible through the purchase of a linear
accelerator. Our oncology program just
keeps growing in leaps and bounds, and
we need every tool possible to accommo-
date our growing clientele.
We have great hopes for the future of the
UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Our
overriding goal is to enhance our already
distinguished reputation within the state
and elsewhere by strengthening our
research, education and service mission;
by encouraging interdisciplinary collabo-
ration; by addressing the needs of Florida,
the nation and the global community; and
by capitalizing on our existing strengths.
University ofFi da CollSege o f Veterinary Orffn--ic emofD lopment (352)392-22 13xt
UnierityofFlrid FundtinInc ..Bx1451Gievle L3641(5)3219 w .lrd~mro~f~d