What is the Human-Animal Bond?

“The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and other animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, other animals, and the environment. The veterinarian’s role in the human-animal bond is to maximize the potentials of this relationship between people and other animals.”

Board of Directors

Rod Jouppi, DVM

Rod Jouppi, DVM


Walden Animal Hospital 11 White Road Lively, Ontario Canada, P3Y 1M4 rjouppi@laurentian.ca
Laird Goodman, DVM, CVA

Laird Goodman, DVM, CVA

President Elect

Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital 14831 SW Teal Blvd Beaverton, OR 97007 503-579-3300 (W) lairdo1@comcast.net
Bess Pierce, DVM, MZS, Diplomate ABVP, Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ACVSMR, Associate Professor

Bess Pierce, DVM, MZS, Diplomate ABVP, Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ACVSMR, Associate Professor


G. Timothy Lee, DVM

G. Timothy Lee, DVM

Immediate Past President

27 S. Creedmoor Way Anderson, Indiana 46011 P: 765-621-0830 lecutter1@gmail.com
Steve Dale

Steve Dale

Director at Large (2016-2019)

Patrick Flynn, DVM

Patrick Flynn, DVM

Director at Large

Kimberly Pope-Robinson, DVM

Kimberly Pope-Robinson, DVM

Director at Large (2016-2019)

Laura Baltodano, DVM

Laura Baltodano, DVM

Director at Large/Newsletter Editor (2016-2019)

Easley Animal Hospital 8741 Loop 171 Pampa, TX 79065 O: 806-665-7188 Dr.LauraB@yahoo.com

Laura Jaworski

Julie Legred

Jeremy Kiene


Past Presidents

  • G. Timothy Lee, DVM (2016-2018)
  • Dr. Gregg Takashima (2014-16)
  • Dr. Emilia Wong Gordon (2012-14)
  • Dr. Robin Downing (2010-12)
  • Dr. Tami Shearer (2009-10)
  • Dr. Victoria Voith (2008-09)
  • Dr. Martha Littlefield (2007-08)
  • Dr. Richard P. Timmins (2006-07)
  • Dr. Alice Villalobos (2005-06)
  • Dr. Lauren Keating (2004-05)
  • Dr. H. Marie Suthers-McCabe (2003-04)
  • Dr. John New (2002-03)
  • Dr. Guy Hancock (2001-02)
  • Dr. John S. Wright (2000-01)
  • Dr. Caroline B. Schaffer (1999-00)
  • Dr. Perry R. Chumley (1998-99)
  • Dr. Thomas J. Lane (1997-98)
  • Dr. James J. Elliott (1996-97)
  • Dr. Earl O. Strimple (1995-96)
  • Dr. Kathy L. Mitchener (1994-95)
  • Dr. Lynn J. Anderson (1993-94) Charter President

Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year

The Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in promoting the human-animal bond in practice through a special sensitivity to both clients and patients; in their communities through assuming a leadership role in programs that bring people and animals together; or in education or research on human-animal interactions. The award was named for the late Dr. Leo K. Bustad, former President of the Delta Society, Dean of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and a pioneer in recognizing the importance of the human-animal bond.

Want to Recommend a Veterinarian?


  • 2017 No award given
  • 2016 Jody Sandler, DVM, NY
  • 2015 Melissa Bain, DVM, CA
  • 2014 Bess Pierce, DVM, VA
  • 2013 Benjamin Hart, DVM, CA
  • 2012 Thomas Cantanzaro, DVM, Australia
  • 2011 Nancy Kay, DVM, CA
  • 2010 Ken Gorczyca, DVM, CA
  • 2009 Brian Forsgren, DVM, OH
  • 2008 Jane Shaw, DVM, CO
  • 2007 Samuel Costello, DVM, OH
  • 2006 Richard Meadows, DVM, DABVP, MO
  • 2005 Marie Suthers-McCabe, DVM, VA
  • 2004 Kathy Mitchener, DVM, TN
  • 2003 Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM, AL
  • 2002 Dr. Marty Becker, ID
  • 2001 Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver, TX
  • 2000 Dr. Caroline B. Schaeffer, AL
  • 1999 Dr. Alice Villalobos, CA
  • 1998 Dr. Patricia N. Olson, CO
  • 1997 Dr. Thomas J. Lane, FL
  • 1996 Dr. Marvin L. Samuelson, KS
  • 1995 Dr. Robert M. Miller, CA
  • 1994 Dr. Sally O. Walshaw, MI
  • 1993 Dr. Erwin Small, IL
  • 1992 Dr. Lynn J. Anderson, KY
  • 1991 Dr. William J. Kay, NY
  • 1990 Dr. John C. New, Jr, TN
  • 1989 Dr. James Harris, CA
  • 1988 Dr. Earl 0. Strimple, CD
  • 1987 Dr. Robert K. Anderson, MN
  • 1986 Dr. William F. McCulloch, TX

Who are our members?

HABA is an exciting adventure, and you’re invited to be part of it.

HABA membership is open to all  veterinarians  and veterinary students currently enrolled in a professional program leading to the DVM or equivalent.
HABA Membership is also open to:

Technicians and Office Staff

And Individuals interested and involved in furthering information about the Human Animal Bond.

Mission and Values

Mission Statement

To be recognized as the leader in the Veterinary Community for advancing the understanding and importance of the human-animal bond.

HABA Core Values

Commitment to provide education about the values of the Human-Animal Bond.

  • Social
  • Therapeutic
  • Economic
  • Advance understanding of the Human-Animal Bond within all professions, cultures and regions of the world.
  • Support and promote Human-Animal Bond research and other science based work in this area.
  • Collaborate with other Human-Animal Bond organizations as their values align with ours.
  • Offer resources for practical support of the Human-Animal Bond to veterinary practitioners, pet owners, and other community members.
  • Conduct our work with diligence, integrity, and transparency.