Dr. Melvin Chambliss, associate professor, Agriculture and Horticulture Department at Alfred State College, has been chosen by the Hornell Area Humane Society Board of Directors to receive the Dr. Ted Beyer Award at the Humane Society's fifth annual "Black Cat Event," Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007.
The award, named for Dr. Ted Beyer, was established five years ago when the Hornell Area Humane Society wanted a way to honor Beyer for his years of endless commitment to shelter vet medicine and shelter animals. Dr. Beyer was a veterinary "icon" in the area who treated countless numbers of animals. The award honors people who emulate Beyer's caring attributes.Chambliss was chosen on the basis of his commitment to helping animal shelters and the animals served by the Humane Society.
"The Alfred State College veterinary technology program and the Hornell Area Humane Society enjoy a unique relationship," says Wendy Dresser-Recktenwald, CEO, Hornell Area Humane Society Board of Directors. "Both programs are ‘futuristic' in the way they want to see sheltering vet medicine evolve and together the two programs make an incredible team. Many shelter animals are able to be vaccinated, diagnosed, treated, spayed, and neutered at the hands of the veterinary team at Alfred State College and the vet tech students. Students and staff have the opportunity to view unique cases and situations that might not be seen in a regular veterinarian's office. Students are able to conduct behavioral assessments and health evaluations on animals who have been ‘society's outcasts,'" Dresser-Recktenwald notes.
This fall, the vet tech program started transporting students to the Hornell Area Humane Society for "hands-on" labs in the shelter environment. Dr. Chambliss has assumed the role of director of shelter veterinarian care for the Hornell Area Humane Society and the society works with almost every local veterinarian in the area to help the animals. Chambliss gives suggestions on disease control, and he leads free rabies clinics vaccinating on average 150 animals in two hours.
"The public loves him at rabies clinics because he is soft spoken and gentle with the animals, and more importantly, great with the people. Having both the bedside manner with the animals and the ability to appropriately communicate with the owners of the animals and the shelter staff has made Dr. Chambliss a valued asset to the vet medicine community," continued Dresser-Recktenwald.
Chambliss is currently working with the Hornell Area Humane Society to develop and design a plan for a regional clinic that would offer low-cost spay and neuter procedures. Pet overpopulation is a huge concern in America, especially in rural areas. Many pet owners have good intentions but do not have the money to cover basic pet care. A low-cost spay and neuter program would help reduce animal over population and help educate the community.
Animal disaster preparedness is also an important part of sheltering vet medicine; the two programs will be working together on these initiatives. The Hornell Area Humane Society is also a member of the Alfred State College Tech Prep/Career Pathways grant.
"The Hornell Area Humane Society is fortunate to have Mel Chambliss and the Vet Tech program on our team," said Dresser-Recktenwald.
Chambliss, who began his duties at the College in 1999, teaches courses in the veterinary technology area and serves as the curriculum coordinator for veterinary technology program.
Chambliss also serves as the head of Veterinary Technician magazine editorial board.
Prior to joining the Alfred State College faculty, Chambliss worked as an associate professor in the vet tech program at Michigan State University, at SUNY (State University of New York) at Delhi, and he served his residency in veterinary pathology at Cornell University.
Chambliss holds his doctor of veterinary medicine and bachelor of science in animal science degrees from Tuskegee University.
Chambliss is a member of the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE) where he serves as a director at large and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).