Her volunteer work on behalf of at-risk veterans and their pets has earned Julie Dawn Carlson ’01 a national award.
The American Humane Association (AHA) honored the Phoenix, Arizona, resident with the 2015 Hero Veterinary Technician Award. The Sept. 20 Hero Dog Awards gala in Beverly Hills will be broadcast Oct. 30 on the Hallmark Channel. The event is sponsored by Zoetis, a New Jersey-based multinational that produces medicine and vaccines for pets and livestock.
In 2008, Carlson met a homeless veteran living in his car with his German shepherd. He saved every penny he was given so he could take his dog to the veterinarian for regular exams and arthritis medications.
Carlson realized there were many others like this man and decided to start Vets for Vets’ Pets, an organization of volunteers representing more than a dozen Arizona hospitals, clinics and schools.
She works with her partner, Dr. Connie Anderson of Animal House Veterinary Clinic, Queen Creek, Arizona, to solicit donations and sponsorships. She trains and manages a group of more than 100 volunteers that provide pet boarding, foster care resources, spay/neuter surgeries, vaccines, wound care, grooming and more.
Pet supplies — including food, collars, leashes, toys, bowls and beds — are given away at the annual Arizona StandDown event for homeless and at-risk veterans. Carlson organizes her volunteers and makes sure everything runs smoothly while at the same time meeting government leaders and policymakers. The 2015 event saw more three tons of pet food disbursed.
Carlson also teaches at the Pima Medical Institute in Mesa, Arizona. She hold a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in psychology.
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals.