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Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association Inducts Pets in Pet Hall of Fame

The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) is proud to honor four inductees for the 2014 WVMA Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame.

In its 20th year, the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame celebrates pets that exemplify the affection, loyalty, and value of the human-animal bond. Each year the WVMA honors this special relationship in three categories: professional, companion and hero. The 2014 inductees have contributed immensely to the lives of their owners and their communities.

These four extraordinary pets were honored during a noon luncheon ceremony held on March 15 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. The event was sponsored by Merial and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Companion – Bettie

Bettie, a 3-year-old Boston Terrier from Madison has an incredibly strong bond with her owner, Jessica Eisenmenger.

The pair has been inseparable since the day Jess brought Bettie home. Everyday, Bettie sits on Jessica's lap while she completes cystic fibrosis treatment. In return, Jessica did everything she could to help Bettie battle intestinal lymphoma.

"Bettie is a true companion to Jess in every sense of the word," says Bettie's veterinarian Dr. Amanda Falch of Middleton Veterinary Hospital.

Their strong bond and positive attitudes have helped both stay optimistic and determined making Bettie and excellent inductee into the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame.

Companion - Vanessa

Vanessa, a 1-year-old kitten from Rockland, was adopted by a family after they tragically lost their son, a dog and a kitten in a short period of time. The family was devastated.

"Vanessa was just what the family needed, she was vibrant, full of spunk and her terrible kitten antics kept the Benson family laughing, lessening their sadness," says Vanessa's veterinarian Dr. Debbie Padilla Kruk or Morganside Veterinary Clinic.Pam Benson, decided to adopt Vanessa, a tiny kitten, at their local shelter. Immediately, Vanessa brightened the Benson families lives.

"The bond Vanessa shares with the Benson family is a true example of how an animal-human bond can heal the soul," says Dr. Padilla Kruk.

The joy and happiness Vanessa brought and continues to bring the Benson family makes her an ideal inductee for the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame.

Hero – Tazer

Tazer, a 6-year-old British Labrador Retriever from Hayward, is committed to his owners Jack and Marlene Reeder.

On May 17, 2013 Marlene was awakened by a barking Tazer and discovered Jack was not in bed. Marlene found Jack in his favorite chair, unresponsive and soaking wet. When the ambulance arrived, Tazer would not let anyone near his owner, Marlene had to pull him away and put him in his kennel.

"Of the 13 Labrador's Jack has owned, Jack believes Tazer is the smartest," says Dr. Edward Haugen of Family and Farm Veterinary Clinic in Hayward.

Tazer saved Jack's life that night, making him an excellent inductee for the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame.

Professional – Abby

Abby, an 11-year-old Labrador Retriever from Mazomanie, serves in the Pet Pals Pet Therapy program at the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison. Pet Pals is a unique program because it is available to for all patients, especially children who are immunocompromised from organ transplantations or cancer chemotherapy.

"It really takes a lot of focus and effort to constantly reposition their bodies so patients in wheel chairs, beds and in parent's arms are well within reach," says Abby's nominating veterinarian, Dr. Linda Sullivan of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

Abby also helps veterinary medical students improve their clinical skills by quietly sitting while undergoing strict medical examinations.

"From the moment Abby serenely completed her Pet Pals behavior evaluation, we knew she would be a very special asset for the program," says Dr. Sullivan. "Her stellar volunteer work at the Children's Hospital and the learning opportunities make her an ideal candidate for the Professional category for the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame."

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