International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners

Veterinary School Outreach Project

In the mid 1990s Bayer Animal Health, and later Fort Dodge Animal Health, sponsored IAADP's late president,Ed Eames, and his wife Toni to continue their mission of educating veterinary students and veterinarians about the needs of clients with disabilities, particularly those partnered with guide, hearing and service dogs.

In their presentations, the multiple roles of the veterinarian as healer, helper and humanitarian were explored. Issues included techniques for making disabled clients feel welcome, unique medical needs of assistance dogs, counseling clients needing to retire or euthanize their assistance dogs and helping smooth the process of uniting with a successor dog. Another important topic was fee discounts for disabled clients, many of whom are unemployed and in low income categories.

The Eames have spoken at the 28 veterinary schools in the U.S., two in Canada, two in the Caribbean and one in South Africa. They also did presentations at the American Veterinary Medical Association convention, North American Veterinary Conference, Wild West Veterinary Conference, Western Veterinary Conference, Central Veterinary Conference, Pacific Veterinary Conference and the state conferences of veterinarians in California, Michigan and Iowa. The Eames were keynote speakers at the 1999 American Animal Hospital Association convention in Denver. In 2001, they spoke at the World Small Animal Veterinary Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Extending their activities into other segments of the animal health care community, the Eames have lectured at veterinary technician training programs. In 2003, they were the keynote speakers at the Western Veterinary Conference veterinary technician section. In 1999 and again in 2001, they spoke at the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators meetings. The Eames were also featured speakers at a number of veterinary technicians teaching programs.

As part of the educational effort, the Eames developed a number of supplementary materials. This includes their Hill's Pet Nutrition-sponsored video, Partners in Independence, named the best dog related video by the Dog Writers Association of America in 2001. This project has been updated and is now available as a DVD in two versions, One for veterinarians and one for the general public. The DVDs can be obtained from Toni Eames by sending a check to her at 3376 North Wishon Ave., Fresno, CA 93704. She can send you one version for a $20 contribution to IAADP, or a $30 contribution for both versions.

In 2010 Hill's Pet Nutrition will enable Toni to continue this important veterinary outreach.

Toni Eames, M.S. is an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at California State University, Fresno. Toni and Ed co authored the book, A Guide to Guide Dog Schools (Disabled on the Go, Fresno 1994), describing guide dog training programs in the United States and Canada. Their publications as columnists for Dog World and Off Lead Magazines earned them top awards from the Dog Writers Association of America. A number of these columns appear in their book, Partners in Independence: A success Story of Dogs and the Disabled (Second edition, Barkleigh Publications, Mechanicsburg, Pa, 2004). Toni Eames was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities in 1998. Ed and Toni were founding members of IAADP and, since Ed's untimely death in Oct., 2009; Toni has taken over the presidency of IAADP.

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