Home / Newsroom / Heroes to America’s Animals: Winners of 2018 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™, Presented by Zoetis Petcare
Humane Hollywood™

Heroes to America’s Animals: Winners of 2018 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™, Presented by Zoetis Petcare

Search for America’s top veterinary professionals featured hundreds of nominees and tens of thousands of votes from the American public; Top American Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse will be part of national TV broadcast on Hallmark Channel on October 24

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, October 1, 2018 — Top dogs were not the only honorees Saturday night at the eighth annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards®. America’s first national humane organization also honored a couple of human beings – with the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™, presented by Zoetis Petcare, a U.S. business unit of Zoetis. After a nationwide search and tens of thousands of public votes, Dr. David Chico from Albany, New York, was named 2018’s American Hero Veterinarian, and Tammy Boland from Oceanport, New Jersey, was declared 2018’s American Hero Veterinary Nurse.  They received their awards during a special ceremony onstage at the Beverly Hilton during the Hero Dog Awards gala, which will be broadcast nationally October 24 on Hallmark Channel.

The American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards were born out of the idea that behind almost every hero pet (and millions more animals) is a hero vet or veterinary nurse. These often-little-known benefactors save and improve the lives of our two- and four-legged best friends in many ways, and it is time to honor their achievements. Hundreds of worthy nominees were considered by a special blue-ribbon panel of celebrities and renowned veterinary and animal care professionals. After narrowing down the field to the top five in each category, the American public made the final determination through online voting.

2018 American Hero Veterinarian: Dr. David Chico

Throughout his extraordinary career, David Chico, VMD, MPH has been committed to the betterment of the health and well-being of animals, fostering the important human-animal bond. Ten years ago, Dr. Chico created a free quarterly Pet Wellness Clinic in partnership with Albany Damien Center’s PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) program to provide veterinary care to low-income, HIV+ pet owners. As part of his continued support, he answers emergency calls at all hours and makes house calls for those too ill to visit the clinic. Dr. Chico also volunteers with Animals Lebanon in Beirut, providing life-saving care to severely abused and neglected animals. He has worked on animal cruelty cases in the U.S. as well, assisting with several large dog-fighting and neglect cases. Dr. Chico improves the lives of all those he touches, human and animal alike.

2018 American Humane Hero Veterinary Nurse Tammy Boland

Tammy Boland of Oceanport, New Jersey, has gone above and beyond the call of duty to save hundreds of dogs over the last 11 years, through her non-profit Pick Your Paw Animal Rescue. Tammy networks with some of the busiest shelters in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, where she pulls the most at-risk dogs: seniors, those with medical needs and pit bulls. Through her work, she has created a safe haven for dogs who have been neglected, abused or left behind, teaching them how to trust again after physical and emotional pain. Recently, she saved the “5 Minions” – pit bulls rescued from fighting – to see them play on the grass for the first time in their lives. In addition to her rescue and rehabilitation efforts, Tammy has worked as a veterinary nurse at an animal hospital for nearly two decades. Tammy’s guidance and life-saving work is inspiring and shaping the next generation of animal lovers and advocates.

“Zoetis Petcare is honored to sponsor these awards that recognize the extraordinary veterinarians and veterinary nurses who help keep the pets in our lives happy and healthy, strengthening the powerful human-animal bond between pets and the families who love them,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, executive director of Zoetis Petcare marketing. “Dr. Chico and Tammy have raised the bar for other veterinary professionals in the field through their inspiring service and compassionate care for animals.”

“To us, all veterinarians and veterinary nurses are heroes and this is why we want to honor the best of the best in their fields,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “Dr. Chico and Ms. Boland are tremendous animal welfare advocates and we are so proud to learn of their laudable accomplishments aiding the animals in need in their communities and beyond. And our thanks go out to our friends at Zoetis Petcare for sponsoring this special national campaign because we know how committed they are to recognizing the achievements of the veterinary community.”

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and Zoetis Petcare, and will be broadcast nationally on Hallmark Channel on October 24 at 8 pm/7 Central. More information about this year’s American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards is available at


About American Humane

American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit


About Zoetis
Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2017, the company generated annual revenue of $5.3 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit All trademarks are property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted. ©2018 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved.

Our first-responders are there when animals need them most

From natural disasters to animal cruelty investigations, we are on the front lines protecting animals in times of crisis.

Contribute Volunteer