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Our Staff and Board

Meet the dedicated people of EveryCat Health Foundation

Our Board

EveryCat Health Foundation’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of respected professionals and dedicated cat lovers. Their depth of expertise is broad, including authors, cat veterinary specialists, chief medical officers, established researchers, businesspersons, lawyers, a columnist/radio personality, and cat fanciers and show judges. These individuals volunteer their time and receive no compensation — all donor contributions go directly to fund critical research.

Anthony Hutcherson

EveryCat Health Foundation Board Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chairperson

Port Tobacco, MD

Anthony Hutcherson

EveryCat Health Foundation Board Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chairperson

Port Tobacco, MD

A lifelong passion for cats, especially fascinated by highly patterned wild cats, Anthony Hutcherson began a Bengal Cat breeding program to create his ideal “ocelot–looking” cat in high school when no such domestic feline existed in 1992. He currently serves as a Director on the Board of The International Cat Association (TICA), Chair of the Bengal Cat Breed for TICA, Past President of The International Bengal Cat Society while still raising and showing his Bengal Cats. Anthony is breeder and owner of the highest achieving Bengal Cats in the world.

Anthony Hutcherson studied Animal Science at the University of Maryland and is a member of the American Society of Animal Sciences and the International Society for Animal Genetics. In 2018 he collaborated with Katie Lytle, DVM of Wisdom Health/Mars to screen 1000 pedigreed cats for 40+ genetic diseases and continues to work with Chris Kaelin, PhD of Stanford University & Hudson Alpha Institute in the identification of new genetic variants in cats related to pigment and pattern.

Currently, Anthony is a freelance producer, meeting planner and speech writer in Washington, D.C.Anthony has shared his love of cats on NPR, The TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show and in the New York Times, Washington Post, the New Yorker as well as other media. He is especially proud of authoring “All Kinds of Purrfect” a coloring book about the beauty of all cats for TICA in 2016.

Steve Dale, CABC

EveryCat Health Foundation Board Member, Media Contact

Chicago, IL

Steve Dale, CABC

EveryCat Health Foundation Board Member, Media Contact

Chicago, IL

Steve Dale, certified animal behavior consultant (CABC), has reached more pet owners over the past few decades than any other pet journalist in America.

He is the host of two nationally syndicated radio shows, Steve Dale’s Pet World and The Pet Minute (together heard on more than 100 radio stations, syndicated Black Dog Radio Productions, since 2005). He’s also a special contributor at WGN Radio, Chicago, and program host of Steve Dale’s Pet World (since 1997). He formerly hosted the nationally broadcast Animal Planet Radio.

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

He’s currently a writer and contributing editor for CATster, and authors a column called Steve Dale’s Vet World for Veterinary Practice News. He’s also a columnist for the Journal of National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.

He also contributes blogs for various websites, including for Victoria Stilwell.

On TV, he’s appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Geographic Explorer, Good Morning America; Pets: Part of the Family (PBS), Fox News, various Animal Planet shows, and many others. For several years, Steve was a regular contributor to Superstation WGN-TV morning news, then appeared regularly on WMAQ-TV, Chicago. Currently, he’s a contributor to nationally syndicated HouseSmarts TV. Steve’s also a frequent host of satellite media tours.

In print, he’s been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Redbook, various veterinary publications, and dozens more. He has also appeared as an expert guest on the BBC and NPR many times, and hundreds of radio programs around the world.

Steve co-edited Decoding Your Dog, written by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). He also authored the Introduction to Decoding Your Cat, written by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020)

Steve’s the author of ebooks, Good Dog! and Good Cat! (Chicago Tribune, 2013). He’s the author of several other books, including My New Puppy, DogGone Chicago and American Zoos.

Steve is a contributor to textbooks The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management (edited Dr. Susan Little, 2011); Treatment and Care of the Geriatric Veterinary Patient (edited Dr. Mary Gardner and Dr. Dani McVety, 2017) and El Gato Atropellado (translated The Cat: Hit by a Car, edited Dr. Luis Tello, 2019) Foreword for Infectious Disease Handbook (Merck Animal Health, 2017). He was an external reviewer for the 2005 Feline Behavior Guidelines (American Association of Feline Practitioners).

He’s written introductions or contributed chapters and forewords to many books, including Helpful and Caring Cats: Felines Who Make a Difference; Heartfelt Connections: How Animals and People Help One Another; The Pet Parent’s Guide: Infectious Disease of Dogs; Cats Revealed: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Living Happily with a Cat; Bonding With Your Dog, Dog Spelled Backwards; The Compassion of Dogs; Raising My Furry Children; Christmas Cats; Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul, and Angel Animals and the Kids Who Love Them.

He’s the primary author of the CATegorical Care: An Owner’s Guide to America’s Number #1 Companion (reviewers include AVMA, SAWA), published American Humane Association/CATalyst Council, 2010). He co-authored (with Dr. Sagi Denenberg) the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Position Statement on Breed-Specific Legislation (2014). Edited: 50 Years of Advancing Feline Medicine: Winn Feline Foundation Helping Every Cat, Every Day (2018) and Preparing for the Future Celebrating the Winn Feline Foundation at 40 (2008).

Steve is a founder of the CATalyst Council and served on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012. After six years, in 2012, he cycled off the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association and served as a National Ambassador. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Tree House Humane Society, Chicago (2005 to 2016). He’s also on the Board of Directors of the Winn Feline Foundation (2007 to present), American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians (2016 to present). He’s an Advisory Board Member of Chicago Friends of Animal Care & Control (2013 to present), SPCA Puerto Vallarta (2016 to present), Grey Muzzle Organization (2017 to present), National Link Coalition G-10 Steering Committee (2020 to present) and DVM360 Editorial Advisory Board (2020 to present).

Steve is also a part of an AVMA/AAHA initiative to encourage preventive veterinary care, called Partners for Health Pets. In 2014, Steve co-founded Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills, and serves on the Board of Directors. Steve is on the Pet Partners Human-Animal Bond National Scientific Advisory Board (2015 to present) and National Advisory Council Member American Association of Feline Practitioners (20016 to present). He was National Advisory Board Member Angel on a Leash (2005 to 2016) and Task Force on Feline Sterilization (2015 to 2017).

Steve’s a speaker for American Association of Feline Practitioners Cat Friendly Practices and the Fear Free Initiative. He’s on the Fear Free Advisory Council (2013 to present) and is the Chief Correspondent Fear Free Happy Homes, and he is certified in Fear Free.

Steve co-organized and led the event, Purrsing FIP and Winning for the Winn Feline Foundation. at UC Davis (2019). Aside from announcing major advances regarding FIP; never before have so many researchers from around the world gathered at a symposium to discuss a single feline health issue.

In Chicago, Steve created the Chicago Task Force on Companion Animals and Public Safety (2000-2010), where three-times proposed breed bans were over-turned and twice over-turned proposed mandated pediatric spay/neuter, as well as proposed pet limit laws. The Task Force also created guidelines for ‘doggy day care.’ As a pet advocate, Steve has testified many times against breed specific bans, pet limit laws, etc. in the Chicago area and elsewhere. Steve regularly advised Illinois Governor Pat Quinn regarding pet-related issues, including leading on bills to prohibit breed-specific bans and prosecute dog fighters with enhanced felony charges when convicted of fighting near schools or daycare centers. In 2019, it was Steve’s idea to create the first fire protection law for pets in kennels, which was signed by Governor J. B. Pritzker.

Among Steve’s many awards, the AVMA Humane Award (the only AVMA honor bestowed to a non-veterinarian), Editor and Publisher syndicated newspaper Feature Writer of the Year Award but his most distinguished may be the inaugural AVMA Excellence in Media Award which will be presented to him in August, 2020. He’s also earned the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award (twice), HSUS Pets for Life Award, American Humane Association Media Award, American Pet Products Association Pet Industry Outstanding Media Representative of the Year, and has been honored with over 15 Maxwell’s Awards from the Dog Writer’s Association of America and over 15 Muse Awards from the Cat Writers’ Association of America. He’s also been honored by the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control, and was the first recipient of the Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award, and many others.

In 2012, Steve became the youngest person ever inducted into the Dog Writer’s Association of America Hall of Fame.

After his beloved cat Ricky passed away in 2002 of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), Steve created the Ricky Fund with the Winn Feline Foundation to raise money to research this often-fatal disease. He’s helped to raise over $200,000 – and as a direct result a genetic test was created to determine if a gene defect for HCM exists for two breeds, and further studies are underway.

Steve’s a regular speaker at veterinary and shelter conferences around the world, and for shelter fundraisers, and other special events, including SXSW. Steve’s presented numerous times at each of the major U.S. veterinary conferences, and at state and regional meetings as well as at veterinary schools, and several times for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. He’s also spoken at the Congreso Veterinario de Leon (Leon, Mexico) four times as well as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Conference (Sydney, Australia); CICA Animal Behavior Conference (Mexico City, Mexico); Latin American Veterinary Conference (Lima, Peru); Congreso Veternario de Columbia (Pereira, Columbia); Caribbean Veterinary Conference (St. Kitts); Companion Animal Nutrition Summit (San Jose, Costa Rica); and (via Skype) Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Veterinary Behaviour Chapter Science Week (Brisbane, Australia).

Steve’s persistence convinced the Chicago White Sox to allow dogs at a major league baseball game – today, ball parks around America have periodic “dog days” promotions. In 2004, he suggested Mercury Skyline Cruiseline create “The Canine Cruise,” a dog-friendly architecture cruise for dogs on Lake Michigan/Chicago River, also replicated in other cities.

Steve is also the host (since 2015) of a popular WGN Podcast, Steve Dale’s Other World (about topics generally unrelated to pets).

Grant Review Panel

The combined knowledge and experience of the grant review panel enables EveryCat Health Foundation to select and fund the most credible proposals. Our reviewers include board members, two appointed veterinary consultants and invited advisors who are most often practicing veterinarians.

Veterinary Consultants

Veterinary consultants are appointed for three-year terms to serve as grant reviewers. Their skill in various areas of research (e.g., statistics, medicine, surgery, cancer therapy, molecular biology, and diagnostics) is invaluable.

Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)

EveryCat Health Foundation Director Emeritus

Lebanon, OR

Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)

EveryCat Health Foundation Director Emeritus

Lebanon, OR

Vicki L. Thayer has a 40 year background in feline medicine. A graduate of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Thayer is board certified in feline medicine by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) and was principal owner of Civic Feline Clinic. Located in Walnut Creek, CA, the clinic was the first exclusively feline veterinary practice in the Diablo Valley region of the state.

She has considerable experience in organized veterinary medicine in the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), as well as through other community activities. Dr. Thayer served on the board of AAFP for 20 years, and as president from 1996-1998. From 2004-2010, she was AAFP’s delegate to AVMA. She is also on the board of the largest private cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest, Cat Adoption Team of Sherwood, OR.

Dr. Thayer joined the Winn Feline Foundation Board of Directors in 2008 and served as board president from June 2011 to June 2014, stepping into the position of Executive Director on July 1, 2014. She is retired from this role at the end of 2018. She lives on a 40-acre heritage farm in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades with her husband, four cats and one dog, and also enjoying time with her two sons’ families.

Bonnie Beaver, DVM, MS, DSc(hon), DPNAP, DACVB, DACAW

Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine

College Station, TX

Bonnie Beaver, DVM, MS, DSc(hon), DPNAP, DACVB, DACAW

Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine

College Station, TX

Dr. Beaver is internationally recognized for her work in normal and abnormal behaviors of animals, animal welfare, and the human-animal bond. She has given over 500 scientific presentations to veterinary and veterinary student audiences on these subjects, as well as discussed many areas of veterinary medicine for the public media. In addition, she has authored numerous scientific articles and has thirteen published books.

Dr. Beaver is a member of numerous local, state, and national professional organizations. She has served as president of several, including the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, the American College of Animal Welfare, and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Beaver is a past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and has served as Chair of the AVMA Executive Board. She has also served on several AVMA committees and chaired the AVMA’s Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions Task Force and the Panel on Euthanasia.

Professionally, Dr. Beaver has been honored by being elected as a Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academies of Practice, named as the recipient of the 1996 AVMA Animal Welfare Award, awarded the 2001 Friskies PetCare Award in Animal Behavior, received the 2001 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award, and named as one of 12 Legends in Veterinary Medicine by the AVMA. In 2015, the University of Guelph honored her work in animal welfare with an honorary Doctor of Science degree, and she received The AVMA Award for her cumulative work with veterinary organizations in 2020.

In addition to her position at Texas A&M University, Dr. Beaver serves as the CEO of Beaver Consulting to provide consulting services in fields of animal behavior, animal welfare, leadership, and adult education.

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Barbara E. Kitchell

DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM

VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center

Barbara E. Kitchell

DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM

VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center

Dr. Barbara E. Kitchell graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. Dr. Kitchell completed an internship at the University of Minnesota, then residencies in Small Animal Medicine and Oncology at UC Davis from 1981-1985. She started an Oncology referral practice at Special Veterinary Services, Berkeley, California in 1985, and continued to manage that practice on a full time basis until 1989, when she embarked upon her graduate studies while continuing to work part time as a clinical oncologist. She received her Ph.D. degree (emphasis in Cancer Biology) from the Department of Comparative Pathology at UC Davis in 1994. Dr. Kitchell completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford Medical School from 1990-1994. She taught clinical and comparative oncology at the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine from 1994-2003. Dr. Kitchell joined the faculty of Michigan State University in 2004 as Full Professor and Director of the Center for Comparative Oncology, and held this post until joining VCA Vet Care in August, 2013.

She is the Director of Residency Training Programs for VCA, as well as Specialty Medical Director and staff oncologist at Vet Care. Dr. Kitchell is an ACVIM Diplomate in the specialties of Internal Medicine and Oncology. She is past president of the Veterinary Cancer Society and Past Chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Kitchell is the author of over 100 scientific publications, abstracts, proceedings, book chapters, handbooks in her field of veterinary and comparative oncology.

Like most veterinarians, she has a menagerie of dogs and cats. Dr. Kitchell also keeps in touch with her 5 wonderful young adult children, and was active in adoption, foster care and Transition to Independence for foster adolescents in Lansing, Michigan.

Veterinary Advisors

Each year, veterinary advisors are identified to serve as additional proposal reviewers. These advisors are generally veterinary practitioners or clinicians with special expertise in feline medicine.

Scientific Advisors

Periodically, an outside scientific advisor may be approved by the EveryCat Board of Directors to attend a board review meeting. The scientific advisor is not assigned grants for review, though they can offer advice for consideration.

Veterinary Statistician

EveryCat Staff

Though EveryCat’s board, volunteers and advisors are located across North America, EveryCat’s headquarters in Wyckoff, NJ is the heart of our operations.

Virginia Rud, CVT

EveryCat Health Foundation Outreach and Development Assistant

Muscatine, IA

Virginia Rud, CVT

EveryCat Health Foundation Outreach and Development Assistant

Muscatine, IA

Virginia joined EveryCat Health Foundation in 2019 as the Outreach and Development Assistant. Her responsibilities include promoting EveryCat and its mission at various cat shows and related events, pet and animal industry trade shows and veterinary conferences, managing EveryCat’s monthly Webinar series, social media and newsletter, plus providing administrative support to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director, and the Donor Care Specialist. Without a doubt, her favorite responsibility is talking to people about EveryCat Health Foundation and sharing the significance of EveryCat’s mission to improve the lives of every cat, every day, through EveryCat-funded health studies.

Virginia studied English at the University of Minnesota, and, after many years in Emergency Communications, she followed her passion into Veterinary Technology. She received her Vet Tech degree in 2001, and has practiced in rural and urban veterinary hospitals, with both large and small animal patients. Prior to joining EveryCat, she worked for the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, taught in several Veterinary Technology Programs and served as Veterinary Technology Program Director at a community college in eastern Iowa.

Virginia considers herself an introverted extrovert, and when she isn’t working, she likes to read, write (yes, she plans to someday write the great American novel), and travel. She shares her home with her partner Jim but alas, currently no feline companions.

“To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. That is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson