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Vet Med's Roberts honored by state association

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 11 - November 5, 1998

Much maligned in cartoon and myth, those dedicated public servants who do what has to be done recently honored the man who spent 20 years helping them transform the thankless task of "dog-catching" into a profession.
The Virginia Animal Control Officer's Association formally recognized VMRCVM emeritus Professor Kent Roberts for nearly two decades of service by awarding him their President's Award for Lifetime Achievement at their annual meeting in Virginia Beach.
Roberts, who left his Purcellville veterinary practice in 1980 to help build the VMRCVM, began working with the officers at a meeting organized by former VMRCVM professor Gordon McGinnis at the Donaldson Brown Center for Continuing Education in 1980. Since then, Roberts has organized annual training programs for them at Virginia Tech every year until his formal retirement from the college in 1995.
The comprehensive training programs were designed to keep officers current with new techniques in animal handling and management. Roberts said he is pleased to see the profession come as far as it has.
Today, Virginia law requires that all animal-control officers must be formally trained and attend 15 hours of continuing education every three years, which is monitored by the State Veterinarian's Office. Officers complete 40-hour basic training programs offered twice a year at Crater Police Academy in Petersburg and Cardinal Police Academy in Salem.
"These people work very hard," said Roberts, who outlined the history of the organization during the keynote address he provided at the banquet. "They're fine and deserving people."