2014 Award Winners


The CVMA honors individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to organized veterinary medicine through participation in CVMA activities and through the human-animal bond. The latest inductee into the California Animal Hall of Fame is also recognized.

Congratulations to the 2014 CVMA award recipients! They illustrate the very best of the veterinary profession in California and the human-animal bond. Each honoree was recognized during the Gala Awards Ceremony on June 20 at the Pacific Veterinary Conference in San Francisco.


Sullivan2014Richard Sullivan, DVM

Dr. Sullivan has spent a lifetime donating his efforts and energy to organized veterinary medicine. He has more than 30 years of involvement in the advancement of veterinary medicine and is actively involved at the local, state, and national levels.

Dr Sullivan served on the CVMA Board of Governors from 1988 to 1994. During that time, he held the positions of Member at Large, President-elect, and President of the CVMA. Since then, he has served on more than 20 committees and task forces including chairing the Animal Welfare, AVMA Advisory, and Legislative Committees, the Veterinary Dentistry and Sunset Review Task Forces and the CVMA Political Action Committee. In 1995 Dr. Sullivan received the CVMA’s President’s Award and in 2007 he received the CVMA highest membership honor, Distinguished Life Membership.

Dr. Sullivan is the alternate delegate for the CVMA in the AVMA House of Delegates and is an advocate for the CVMA as a member of the AVMA State Advocacy Committee. He has actively participated in his local association for many years and is a former board member and president of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Sullivan’s thoughtful and dedicated approach is matched by his forthright opinion on issues of importance to the CVMA. He has been a strong advocate and champion of the veterinary profession.

Dr. Sullivan was born in Southern Wisconsin. He received his DVM from Purdue University. After spending two years in the Peace Corps in Brazil as an extension veterinarian, he moved to Torrance, Calif. with his wife Connie and became an associate veterinarian at Bay Cities Pet Hospital. Four years later, he had the opportunity to become a partner and still practices there today.

The CVMA is pleased to honor Dr. Sullivan for his lifetime service to California veterinarians, to organized veterinary medicine, to academic veterinary medicine, and to the CVMA. We also look forward to his continued dedication and service to the CVMA.


Deborah Crippen, DVMCrippen2014

Dr. Crippen has been passionately involved in the veterinary profession for more than 30 years. She earned respect in her field by being selected as the second female president of the CVMA in 1996.

After finishing her biology degree at Sonoma State University in 1976, Dr. Crippen volunteered for the Peace Corps in Swaziland, Africa for two years. She started the country’s cattle insemination program. She returned with her degree from the University of the Philippines, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 to “pay the bills” as an AHT at Lakeside Pet Hospital. A year later, she was a licensed veterinarian and 12 years later she became owner of the practice.

Dr. Crippen has served on many CVMA committees and task forces including the Allied Industry, Finance, Wellness, and Insurance Committees, Sunset Review, Feral Cat Spay/Neuter, AVMA Organizational Audit, Mandatory Continuing Education, Governance, Telemedicine, and the Leadership Development Task Forces.

She has also served on the VISC Board of Directors, CVMA House of Delegates, and CVMA Board of Governors.

As a solo practitioner, Dr. Crippen has sacrificed her time away from her practice give to the veterinary profession by serving on the Board and multiple CVMA committees.

“Deborah is one of the great characters in our profession and has proven herself as an incredibly effective leader with an unorthodox style,” Dr. Donald J. Klingborg said.

Eric Weigand, DVMWeigand2014

Dr. Weigand is a small animal practitioner and has been an active member of the CVMA for more than 25 years.

Dr. Weigand served on the Board of Governors from 2000 to 2006 and was CVMA president in 2005.

Dr. Weigand has served in various roles in organized veterinary medicine and his participation includes serving on the CVMF Board of Directors, California Animal Care Coalition, Continuing Education Planning Group, and various committees including Finance, Animal Care Conference, Insurance, Pacific Veterinary Conference Advisory Program, Public Relations, RVT Job Tasks Workgroup, Unlicensed Activity Advisory, Ways and Means, and Special Relationship Groups committees.

The time and efforts that Dr. Weigand has given to the CVMA have helped advance the association. Dr Weigand was instrumental in the development of the Veterinary Insurance Services Company. He also served as the VISC Chairman for the first six years of its existence and the role he played will have a long-term impact on the CVMA.

Dr. Weigand grew up in Wichita, Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. He moved to California and bought his small animal practice Claremont Veterinary Hospital just two years later. He continues to own and practice at Claremont Veterinary Hospital.


The CVMA’s California Animal Hall of Fame, created in 1990, celebrates the companion and working animals of California and the veterinarians who care for them. The winning animal’s care provider is recognized at the Pacific Veterinary Conference as well.

Bodie32014 Inductee: Bodie
German Shepard – Police K9

Owner: Officer Randy Van Dusen
Sacramento, CA

Nominating Organization: Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association Sacramento, CA

K9 Bodie saved the life of his Sacramento Police Officer, Officer Van Dusen on May 18, 2012, taking a bullet from a suspect and allowing Officer Van Dusen to move in a safe direction and return fire. Bodie also stopped a dangerous gunman from escaping onto the grounds of an elementary school, which was in session with hundreds of children.

Bodie and Officer Van Dusen were in pursuit of a suspected car thief when the suspect shot Bodie in the jaw and paw. Van Dusen then fatally shot the suspect.

Van Dusen immediately drove Bodie to VCA Animal Hospital in Rancho Cordova. Bodie nearly died on the way, losing most of the blood in his body.

The bullet shattered Bodie’s lower left jaw bone, severed his tongue 60 percent of the way off, exited his right lip and entered his right paw, shattering his two middle toes. Bodie was in the veterinary hospital for one week before being released.

Officer Van Dusen spent every day and night with him, sleeping on the floor of the dog kennel. Bodie had five major surgeries to repair the damage, including one in January 2013 to remove a ruptured spinal disk that occurred as a result of the shooting.

Bodie became the Sacramento Police Department’s first ever Reserve Police K9 and serves as an ambassador for police and working dogs. He educates the public about the benefits of police canines and the bond shared between them and their human partners.

“Bodie unselfishly saved my life and I will never be able to repay him,” Officer Randy Van Dusen said.


Sharon LohmanLohman2014

Sharon Lohman’s cell phone is always ringing—and the caller is almost always a pet owner in need. As vice president of New Beginnings for Animals and volunteer rescue coordinator for Merced County Animal Control, Lohman is a champion of the cause for injured and abused pets.

New Beginnings finds homes for adoptable animals that are on “death row” in the local animal shelter. In 2013, New Beginnings saved more than 2,100 animals from euthanasia.

Through her drive and initiative, Ms. Lohman’s rescue groups have facilitated the spaying/neutering of thousands of animals in Merced County through the use of more than $200,000 in grants—using a co-pay system with pet owners where pet owners pay the fee for surgery, and the rescue group covers the rest of the veterinarian’s costs.

In 2013, the Merced Animal Control Agency and HSUS raided a cat “sanctuary” where 70 percent of the cats onsite were so ill that they needed to be euthanized. There were more than 200 cats. Ms. Lohman stepped in and arranged for the housing and care of the surviving cats. She organized and provided treatment and cleaning services for the animals for several months, until they were healthy enough to find new homes.

Ms. Lohman has been a dedicated animal advocate for many years and is deserving of the Meritorious Service Award.

Nominate Someone for a 2015 CVMA Award

It is the CVMA’s honor and pleasure to recognize significant contributions to the veterinary profession! The announcement of the award recipients is the highlight of the Pacific Veterinary Conference. We invite all readers to take a moment and ask, “Who has stood out in the crowd? Who has made a difference?” Then, send your nomination packet to the CVMA by the deadline of December 31, 2014. In June 2015 you can join your colleagues in San Francisco in applauding the recipients of these prestigious awards!

Awards Nomination criteria and timeline

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