Board of Directors

2016-17 American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians Officers & Board of Directors

President (2016-2018):  G. Timothy Lee, DVM
27 S. Creedmoor Way
Anderson, Indiana 46011
P: 765-621-0830

timDr. Timothy Lee is a 1964 graduate of Purdue University. After graduation he spent two years in the Air Force as a base veterinarian before returning to Indiana to practice for the next 47 years.  He retired from the practice he started in 1971 in March of 2013 but then returned to practice part time in Indianapolis.  His personal practice has been limited to surgery since 1984, focusing on orthopedics and neurosurgery.He has served on civic boards and the board of a local hospital in addition to serving AAHA as treasurer for 5 years.Interests outside of veterinary medicine include travel in Europe and the Caribbean and photography.


President-Elect and Treasurer (2016-2018):  Rod Jouppi, DVM
Walden Animal Hospital
11 White Road
Lively, Ontario
Canada, P3Y 1M4

Rod.JouppiDr. Rod Jouppi graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 1978. He is co-owner of a five veterinarian small animal hospital in Northern Ontario, Canada and is also the founder and president of Wild at Heart, a wildlife refuge center, which treats all indigenous wildlife of northern Ontario. Dr. Jouppi is the Director of the Animal Research Facility and University veterinarian at Laurentian University in Sudbury Ontario and is assistant professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine where he focuses on zoonotic disease.

Dr. Jouppi is very involved with animal welfare issues. His clinic works very closely with all animal charities in the Sudbury area and he works with remote fly-in First Nation communities on James Bay setting up spay/neuter clinics as well as consulting in areas of animal care and control and related public health issues. Rod is the current chair of the Animal Ethics and Welfare committee at the American Animal Hospital Association,  a member of the Animal Welfare Committee at the American Veterinary medical Association and a member of the WSAVA Animal Welfare & Wellness Committee.  “I may wear many hats but really, my main job is being an animal advocate”

Immediate President (2016-2016): :  Gregg Takashima, DVM
The Parkway Veterinary Hospital
35 W. Monroe Parkway, Suite Y
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Takashima_20Dr. Gregg Takashima is a small animal companion practitioner and human-animal bond advocate who is currently President of GKT Enterprises, PC, which operates Parkway Veterinary Hospital (nine-doctor practice) in Lake Oswego, OR. Dr. Takashima is also Past President of AAHA.

Dr. Takashima has been active in Pet Partners for many years and is Past President of Pet Partners/Delta Society. He is also Past President of the Portland VMA and Dove Lewis Emergency and Critical Care Hospital. In 2011, Dr. Takashima received the 2011 Oregon Veterinary Practitioner of the Year award.

His personal statement includes the following: “We are in interesting times, where the importance of collaboration and the “world view” are more important than ever.  We can no longer act alone as veterinarians, an association or as a profession… What we do impacts many, as we are impacted by what others do.” Dr. Takashima has traveled extensively, especially in Asia and North America, giving presentations on the human-animal bond and standards of care.

Secretary (2016-2018):  Emily McCobb, DVM

Dr. Emily McCobb,
is Director of the Tufts Shelter Medicine Program. She is also Director of the Luke and Lily Lerner Spay Neuter Clinic and the Center for Shelter Dogs, Assistant Director of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy and a clinical associate professor of Anesthesia at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University. As program director she supervises the on campus spay neuter clinic which serves over 2000 animals per year as well as all Cummings Veterinary students. In the hospital she supervises students and veterinary trainees in small animal anesthesia. As track leader for the Animals and Community track at the Center, Dr. McCobb works to support community programs at the Cummings School and assisted in opening the Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic. She completed a fellowship at the Tisch College of Civic Engagement in 2012 and holds a secondary appointment at Tisch College.

Dr. McCobb mentors veterinary and graduate students for clinical work and for animal welfare related research projects. Her published works cover the topics of shelter animal welfare and animal cruelty as well as clinical anesthesia and pain management.

Dr. McCobb is a 2000 graduate of the Cummings School and completed a rotating small animal internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital. She obtained a Masters of Animals and Public Policy also from Tufts in 2002 and completed a residency in Anesthesiology and Pain Management in 2006. She is a board certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist.

Director at Large/Newsletter Editor (2016-2019):  Laura Baltodano, DVM
Easley Animal Hospital
8741 Loop 171
Pampa, TX 79065
O: 806-665-7188

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Laura Baltodano graduated from Washington State University in May of 2013. During her first semester of veterinary school, she took the Pet Loss and Human Bereavement course and was a volunteer for the WSU Pet Loss Hotline. She was invited to become a weekly coordinator for the Pet Loss Hotline and ultimately became the manager. Throughout her entire career as a veterinary student, she had the opportunity to gain insight into pet owner’s needs through her extensive communications with them via the Pet Loss Hotline and in a clinical setting.  Additionally, Dr. Baltodano was very active in her AAHA chapter as president-elect and president. During that time, she developed and instituted a Clinical Skills Training program to help her colleagues get more hands-on experience prior to their clinical year. Because of her efforts, she was awarded the AAHA Anna E. Worth Student Leadership Award in April of 2013.

Dr. Baltodano is currently working as an Associate Veterinarian at Easley Animal Hospital in Pampa, TX. She is a huge proponent of the human-animal bond. In August 2013, she recorded an End-of-Life webinar series that discusses the human-animal bond and end-of-life care. Additionally, she will be speaking on this topic at the AVMA Conference in Denver in July 2014.

Dr. Baltodano serves on the AAH-ABV board of directors and is the editor-in-chief of the newsletter.

Director at Large (2016-2019):  Mary Craig, DVM, MBA
Gentle Goodbye Veterinary Hospice
& At-home Euthanasia
65 High Ridge Rd, #183
Stamford, CT 06905

HS w Guinness 5Dr. Mary Craig is the owner of Gentle Goodbye Veterinary Hospice & At-home Euthanasia. She founded this innovative practice to help people say goodbye to their pets in a way that honors the relationship, commitment and amazing bond clients have, often making the loss easier and providing space to grieve.

Prior to starting her practice, Dr. Craig worked for nearly ten years at Pfizer Animal Health in Marketing and Strategy.  She also founded a management firm, CraigWorks Consulting, where she consulted with hundreds of veterinary practices to help them grow.  She has contributed to Veterinary Economics, the British journal In Practice, and other publications and has lectured nationally to veterinarians and students.

Dr. Craig is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine.  In addition she earned an MBA in Marketing & Strategy and a BS in Animal Science. After graduation from veterinary school she worked in private practice in Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and now New England.

Mary is also on the boards of Pet Partners, an organization that helps people live healthier, happier lives through human-animal interactions as well as board member for the non-profit Fidelco Foundation, New England’s only guide dog school. She lives in Stamford, Connecticut with her husband, Michael Moore, dog Guinness and cat Pixel.

Director at Large (2016-2019):  Laird Goodman, DVM, CVA
Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital
14831 SW Teal Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97007
503-579-3300 (W)

Goodman-16Dr. Laird M. Goodman is owner and director of Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital (MVH) in Beaverton, Oregon.  Dr. Goodman received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1983 and a year later was among the first veterinarians in the Pacific Northwest to receive accreditation from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

In addition to his commitment to the human-animal bond, Dr. Goodman is an active national speaker and participates on numerous prominent advisory and non-profit boards, including Pet Partners. He is a Past President of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, Portland Veterinary Medical Association, and Oregon Humane Society.  Dr. Goodman was a veterinary consultant and caregiver during the filming of Disney’s Homeward Bound and has been a frequent guest expert on “Good Day Oregon” and other Portland-area radio and television programs. In 1999, Dr. Goodman was recognized as the AAHA Pacific Northwest’s Practitioner of the Year and received the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Award.

Director at Large (2015-2018): Beth Boynten, DVM, Professor
Western University of Health Sciences
Pomona, CA

vm11Dr. Beth Boynton is a 1980 graduate of the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  In 1990, after 10 years in private practice, she was selected to create a new service at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital called “Community Practice”. This service was for primary care, non-referral cases with fourth year students.  Areas emphasized in teaching were communication, human-animal bond, preventative behavior, parasite prevention, and immunizations. She lectured in diverse areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, canine/feline vaccinations, interview skills, pet selection, and pet loss.  She designed a course called Practice Readiness where third year students were prepped for clinical work with lectures and exercises in teamwork, business economics, communications, resumes, and interviews.  Part of a faculty creative team, she wrote cases that integrated clinical studies with non-technical competencies.  She served on numerous Strategic Planning, Search, Clinical Directorship, and curricular committees in various leadership positions.

In 2003 she was hired as Professor of Wellness and Director of the Hill’s Wellness Center of Western University of Health Sciences (WU) in Pomona, CA.  She saw canine and feline patients with first and second year students, guiding them in skills of bond-centered care in wellness practice. She taught skills for obtaining a thorough history, low-stress animal handling, physical examinations, laboratory diagnostics, record keeping, and client education.  She received the Bayer Veterinary Communication training in 2004, and directs the communication curriculum. In addition she facilitates problem based learning and was Director of the Clinical Skills course for several years.

Her primary research is in measuring changes in student empathy and attitudes towards the underserved across professions and year of study.  She has served on numerous committees including Faculty Advisor for several years on the award winning Humanism Magazine.  She was active on the Board of WU’s Phi Zeta for 6 years.  Since 2009 she has been a developer and liaison for Interprofessional Education where students work collaboratively in One Health and shared competencies such as teamwork, communication, cultural concerns, patient safety and errors, end of life care, and scope of practice.

Dr. Boynton is active in leadership positions for furthering the profession:  She was inducted in 2014 as a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. She recently served on the AAHA Task Force authoring Canine Lifestage Guidelines, and served/chaired on   AAHA’s Leadership Identification Committee; California Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates, Treasurer of Association of Women Veterinarians Foundation (6 years), and was a founding board member of the Association of Veterinary Family Practice and Primary Care Veterinary Educators (PCVE).  She has continued as Vice Chair of the PCVE and served on AAVMC’s Partners for Healthy Pets task force.   She has served on the California Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates for 8 years. In Minnesota, she served as President-Elect of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), President of the Alumni and Friends Society, and President of the Board of the Academy of Medical Practice, board of Public Health Committee, and Secretary of the Minnesota Veterinary Historical Museum.  She was presented with MVMA’s Outstanding Faculty Award in 2000.

Director at Large (2016-2019):  Bess Pierce, DVM, MZS, Diplomate ABVP, Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ACVSMR, Associate Professor

Dr. Bess Pierce is an Associate Professor at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine where she teaches small animal internal medicine, sports medicine and human animal bond subjects. She is particularly interested in the impact and utilization of animal assisted activities in military and law enforcement settings. Prior to her recent position at LMU, Dr. Pierce spent nine years at VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine, where she developed the Community Practice service in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, served as Director of the Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR), and finished with a position in the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.

Also serving more than 24 years in the US Army Veterinary Corps both in the active duty and reserve components, Dr. Pierce has been assigned worldwide including California, two tours in Japan and several years at the Military Working Dog Center in Texas. She is currently a colonel in the US Army Reserve, assigned to Public Health Command Europe located in Germany.

Dr. Pierce earned a BS in biology from Tulane University in 1986, an MZS in wildlife biology in 1990 and a DVM from Auburn University in 1992. She is board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Her honors include five US Army Meritorious Service Medals, the Order of Military Medical Merit, and the 2015 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award given by the American Veterinary Medical Association. She enjoys spending time with her veterinarian husband and 2 dogs traveling, hiking and kayaking.

(Photo coming soon)

Director at Large (2016-2019):  Kimberly Pope, DVM

Dr. Kimberly Pope has served the veterinary field for over 20 years. After graduating from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000, she practiced in both the large and small animal sectors. In 2007 Dr. Pope transitioned from running a veterinary practice to supporting and managing multiple veterinary hospital locations in a leadership position for a corporate veterinary practice. Drawing from her experience and knowledge in this leadership role Dr. Pope then took a position in the pharmaceutical industry where she specifically worked with veterinary specialists as well as veterinary schools.  Her work during this time was focused on helping veterinary specialists develop and grow their practice and providing support and development opportunities to students and faculty at the colleges she worked with.

Dr. Pope’s medical experience, in addition to supporting over 200 veterinarians and their teams, provided her with a unique exposure to the in’s and out’s of the veterinary profession. From this experience, she has a strong understanding of the stresses involved with being a vet, which can lead to a lack of fulfillment in the profession. Dr. Pope has found that helping others find the path to manage perfectionist tendencies as well as their personal shame while helping individuals to develop the skills of self-forgiveness and resilience is the foundation to a sustainable career in the Veterinary Medical industry.

Dr. Pope has recognized that she has the ability to help others find the path to stay connected with their life’s passion through their career. She is a dynamic speaker and has the unique ability to connect with individuals through both group and one on one support. She welcomes any inquiries on how she can help us all connect our careers with our life’s passion.

(Photo coming soon)

Director at Large (2016-2019):  Steve Dale

For 21 years, his twice weekly newspaper column was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune. Steve was a contributing editor USA Weekend (2002 to 2014), and regular columnist at Cat Fancy magazine (2006 to 2014), and has written for a long list of magazines, from People to Dog World (where he was a columnist).

He’s currently a columnist and contributing editor for CATster, and authors a column called Steve Dale’s Vet World for Veterinary Practice News. 

He also contributes blogs for various websites, including for Victoria Stilwell, and the Pet Health Network.

(Photo coming soon)

Advisor: Alice Villalobos DVM, DPNAP
President, Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics,
Director, Animal Oncology Consultation Service
Director, Pawspice

Alice&NeoAAlice Villalobos, DVM, won the 2013 California Veterinary Medical Association’s Outstanding Service Award and the renowned Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian Award for her pioneering role in bringing oncology (cancer care) services to companion animals. She is President Emeritus of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics, Past President of the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians, the Sierra VMA and Chair of the Veterinary Academy for the National Academies of Practice. She is author of the textbook, Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond, along with numerous articles, papers and chapters. She lectures worldwide on quality of life palliative oncology, end of life care, the human-animal bond and bioethics. She introduced Pawspice which is an end of life care program that embraces kinder, gentler standard cancer care with palliative medicine and transitions to hospice as patients decline. She is Director of Pawspice at VCA Coast Animal Hospital in Hermosa Beach & Animal Oncology Consultation Service at ACCESS in Woodland Hills, CA. Her concierge referral practices provide consultations; integrative cancer therapy and nursing home care services for end-of-life care patients. Go to:,

Advisor:  Dr. John Wright
College of Veterinary medicine
U. of Minnesota, Dept. VCS
C339 Veterinary Hospital
1352 Boyd Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108
Office: 406.587.2946
M: 651-769-3883

Wright portoraitJohn Wright, DVM, experiences and orientation is that of a general practitioner of dogs, and cats, and he is a former practice owner. Dr. Wright is presently retired from active practice and splits his time between Saint Paul, MN and Ely, MN.  Dr. Wright has been  an adjunct faculty, and visiting veterinarian at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine where he has helped to facilitate student learning on aspects of history taking, physical diagnosis, communication skills  (particularly at the time of death or anticipated death of companion animals), animal behavior, and ethical decision making, among other areas of veterinary practice.  Dr. Wright has been the treasurer of The Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics since July of 2003.  Dr. Wright is a member of several veterinary organizations including the AVMA, AAHA,  Minnesota VMA. AVSAB, and ASV.

Dr. Wright has been involved with the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians since becoming a board member in 1997.  He has also served as president and interim executive director.

Student Director at Large (2016-2017):  Ashley Morris
University of California, Davis

ashley.cropAshley Morris is a veterinary student in the Class of 2019 at UC Davis. Her interests include small animal medicine and general practice. In undergrad, she first explored the human-animal bond by organizing animal therapy programs through California Education Through Animals Foundation. She now serves as President of the Human-Animal Bond Club to provide students with opportunities for the celebration and promotion of the human-animal bond. Ashley also continues to volunteer for CETA Foundation and works at a local small animal hospital while in vet school.

Student Director at Large (2016-2017):  Cassandra O’Connor
The Ohio State University

Cassandra is a second year veterinary student and current President of HAB Club at The Ohio State University. From Buffalo, NY originally, she currently enjoys living in Columbus with her husband and two dogs the past 2 years. She strongly believes in the human-animal bond and has personally seen first-hand the strength of the bond; her husband, an Afghanistan war veteran, has benefited from having their dog, Bailey, as a support system during times of anxiety.

She has been an active club President, organizing a variety of different guest speakers who shared the importance of the bond. Topics included how Veteran service animals and “prison puppies” can help provide benefits to individuals, strengthening the relationships between owner, pet and veterinarian. She is excited to start her next journey in a leadership role as the new AAH-ABV Student Director for OSU’s Student HAB Club.



Executive Offices:  Stephanie Vonnahme
618 Church Street, Suite 520
Nashville, TN 37219
Office: 615-301-3048
Fax:  615-254-7047

All Members of the Board of Directors are committed to the the AAH-ABV Responsibilities and Expectations.