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Canadian vet gets WSAVA Future Leader Award

Dr Brendon Laing I co-owner of award-winning clinics in Ontario. The award is in recognition, in particular, of his work to highlight issues around mental health in the profession.

Dr Brendon Laing, a Canadian veterinarian and co-owner of award-winning clinics in Ontario, is to receive the 2023 WSAVA Future Leader Award in recognition of his strong contribution to the wider veterinary community in Canada, in particular his work to highlight issues around mental health in the profession.

Dr Laing has served on the board of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) since 2017, using this platform to advocate for a more people-centric approach to veterinary medicine. An early-adopter of technology, he also played a key role in helping the OVMA to update regulations around telemedicine, an initiative which enabled veterinarians in Ontario to use the technology effectively and which supported them in providing safe care to pets during the pandemic. Dr Laing joined the OVMA’s Executive Committee in 2022 to help shape its transition to a post-COVID world and is currently President Elect. He is also Chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), a role in which he leads the development of the CVMA’s annual convention and other CE activities.

In his clinical work, Dr Laing is co-owner and veterinarian at the Town and Country Animal Hospital, Hillside Veterinary Clinic and Dean Veterinary Hospital in Ontario. The clinics have expanded under his leadership, which prioritizes the cultivation of a workplace of collaboration and the importance of continuing education.

The clinics have been recognized with awards for their customer service. Commenting on the award, Dr Mike Topper, Chair of the WSAVA Membership and Nomination Committee, said Dr Laing stood out among the already outstanding applicants because of his engaged leadership at the provincial and national levels of organized veterinary medicine, his continuous efforts to improved wellness and wellbeing in his small animal hospitals and his on-going promotion of telemedicine to improve the accessibility of veterinary care.

Dr Laing said, “I am deeply honoured to receive the WSAVA Future Leader Award for my contributions to the veterinary community. This recognition highlights the importance of a people-centred approach, mental health advocacy and technological innovation in veterinary medicine. I am grateful to my colleagues, mentors, and teams at Town and Country Animal Hospital and Hillside Veterinary Clinic. Together, we prioritize collaboration, education, and excellent patient care. I thank the WSAVA and the Purina Institute for their support.” Dr Natalia Wagemans, Head of WSAVA Diamond Partner, the Purina Institute, which supports the Award, said, “As a global professional organization, the Purina Institute is supporting veterinary healthcare professionals and the academic community, working together to stimulate discussion and build knowledge. The partnership with WSAVA on the 2023 Future Leader Award is a meaningful way for the Purina Institute to show its continuing commitment to global research and education for the thought leaders of the future.” The Purina Institute serves as the global voice of Purina’s science, representing more than 500 scientists and pet care experts and is responsible for sharing groundbreaking research and providing objective, fact-based information sourced from the wider scientific domain.

Dr Laing received an engraved plaque and a WSAVA certificate during this year’s WSAVA World Congress which took place in Lisbon, Portugal, from 27-29 September.