On Sept. 17, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences dedicated a new pet food distribution center to honor Hill’s Pet Nutrition long-standing support of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) through Hill’s sponsorship of the organization’s pet food distribution program.
For more than 20 years, Hill’s has donated pet nutrition products to SCAVMA. Proceeds from the sale of those products support scholarships for students in the Professional Veterinary Medical Program (PVM), the activities of PVM student clubs, and the Companion Care Fund. The fund helps economically disadvantaged clients at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital pay for needed procedures for their pets.
“We are especially honored by Hill’s support of our students and their support of this wonderful new building,” said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, addressing the crowd gathered for the ceremony. “Hill’s has been a valuable partner with the College in our efforts to provide the best care for companion animals, as well as provide the best education for our veterinary students.”
Previously, SCAVMA had managed sales out of whatever space they could find at the Veterinary Medical Center campus. The distribution site would often move and never had enough room. With the new 800-square foot building, SCAVMA students have a home from which they can run their pet food sales operations while gaining support for programs throughout the College.
“In 2007, Hill’s was proud to donate 263,000 pounds of pet food to SCAVMA for this program, and it was by some miracle that these students were able to distribute the food,” said Dr. Paul Cleland, Hill’s Pet Nutrition Veterinary Affairs Manager. “When Dean Perryman asked us to partner with him to build this new building as part of the South Campus Expansion, we eagerly agreed.”
Hill’s Pet Nutrition pet food lines began in 1939 with Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr., who believed certain diseases in pets could be managed through carefully formulated nutrition. Dr. Morris was able to put his ideas to work when a young blind man asked him if he could do anything to save his guide dog, suffering from kidney failure. Dr. Morris developed a nutritional formulation that became the first product in the Hill's Prescription Diet line of therapeutic pet foods, and the world's first pet food designed to help dogs with kidney disease. Soon after, Hill's Pet Nutrition was founded and that first therapeutic dog food evolved into Hill's Prescription Diet k/d, which is still sold today.