April 24, 2015 – Remembering Suzanne Crew

Suzanne Kathleen Crew-Brennan
November 8, 1973 – April 22, 2015

It is with deep sadness that we announce that our fellow RVT, Suzanne Crew, has passed peacefully away after a courageous battle with cancer.

This is a loss for so many of us who loved Suzanne for her kindness, sense of humour and for the veterinary field to which she dedicated her career as an RVT.

Suzanne was a technician for over 10 years focused in the area of Ophthalmology, Emergency, Internal Medicine as well as Oncology services. Suzanne’s professional development expanded as she achieved the credential of Veterinary Technician Specialty in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2014. Her expertise had no doubt benefited countless animals and their owners who were touched by her gentle heart.

Her legacy will continue to live on in the memories of the many people she inspired during her career. She was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed.

Suzanne’s family kept a Facebook page documenting her journey after being diagnosed with cancer, which can be viewed at:


Or simply search for “Suzanne Crew’s Fan Club”.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Posted in Uncategorized

April 10, 2015 – Join our Focus Group Conversations!!

Focus Group Teleconference Dates Have Been Set!

OAVT Focus Group dates have been set! Please RSVP to Stacey@oavt.org if you would like to participate in the conversation. She will send you an agenda and call-in instructions once you RSVP.

Equine and Food Animal – Tuesday, April 21 at 7pm
Shelter – Thursday, April 23 at 7pm
Lab Animal/Research – Thursday, April 30 at 7pm

Unfortunately there was not enough response to run the other focus groups.

Posted in Fun Events, Membership News

April 3, 2015 – Renew Online Early for your Chance to Win!

Early Online Renewals – Renew Early for Your Chance to Win!

In mid April, online membership renewals will be opened to allow members to pay their 2015-2016 dues early. All members who decide to renew early (ONLINE RENEWALS ONLY) will be entered into a draw to win 1 of 4 RVT graphic license plates.
Draw details:
-applies to online renewals only
-renewal must be completed by May 31st, 2015 at 11:59pm EDT to qualify
-a random draw will be held once early registration closes, and the four winning members will be contacted by email.
An announcement will be made once the online renewal process has opened up. Good luck!
Posted in Contest, Membership News Tagged , ,

April 3, 2015 – Emergency Preparedness Week: Join the list, learn and win!

Emergency Preparedness Week: May 3-May 9, 2015

Emergency Preparedness Week is the first full week of May, and this year the OAVT has teamed up with Aon and The Personal to bring you important information on how you can prepare yourselves, your clinics and the animals in your care for an emergency.

Aon and The Personal have put together 5 gift packs valued at over $200 each. Want your chance to win one of the prize packs? All you have to do is join the special email list to receive daily emergency preparedness articles during the week of May 3rd. Each article will end with a question. If you answer the question correctly, your name will be entered into the draw. The more articles you read (and the more questions you answer correctly) the more times your name will be put into the draw. The following week five names will be randomly selected by the OAVT (you can only win once), and prize packs will be mailed out.

Interested in joining our Emergency Preparedness Week email list? Spread the message to your colleagues (open to all OAVT members, as well as anyone working in the animal healthcare industry)! Just email Natalie@oavt.org and you will be put on the list.

Posted in Contest, Fun Events Tagged ,

April 1, 2015 – Annual Six Nations Pet Wellness Day (May 23rd)

Information on the Annual Six Nations Pet Wellness Day:

In partnership with Six Nations Animal Control, Grand River Veterinary Hospital participates in the largest Pet Wellness Clinic in Ontario. During the day, pets will receive an exam and consultation from a veterinarian, vaccinations, heartworm test, microchip and appropriate medications if the pet is ill.

Last year almost 600 pets participated in this one day event. This year we hope to help more than 600 pets. The success of an event such as this relies heavily on its volunteers and donations. Last year we had 17 veterinarians and 100 auxiliary volunteers. As you can imagine the day is very busy and requires a tremendous amount of organization.

This year the Wellness Clinic will take place on May 23rd at Chiefswood Park on Six Nations Reserve. The Clinic usually takes all day and the morning is usually the busiest. However, even if you can only help out for a few hours it will make a big difference.

There is no doubt about it after a day at the clinic you will feel tired, but what a great feeling you will have when you realize how many people and pets you have helped. You will meet many great people. Last year our volunteer list included people from many surrounding communities, local veterinarians, industry veterinarians and students and vets from the Ontario Veterinary College.

If you are interested in volunteering please email me. If you know anyone that might enjoy spending the day with us let me know. Medical knowledge is not required. An orientation package is provided and there is a brief orientation the morning of May 23rd.
Questions can be answered by me or staff of the Grand River Vet Hospital.

Thank you for considering being a part of this great event.

Dr. Tammy Hornak

Posted in Fun Events, RVT Volunteer Opportunity

February 5, 2015 – RVTs needed at Toronto Pan Am Games

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Natalie Thomas, Communications Manager

RVTs needed for Equine Events at Toronto Pan Am Games!

We are reaching out to all RVTs who have interest and experience in the equine field.

Toronto, as you know, is hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games from July 10th – 26th, and equine events are a huge part of the games.

On any given day, two RVTs will be needed during the day and another RVT will be needed at night. Even more RVTs will be needed on July 18th for the cross country event.

Your role will be an important one: to support teams and individuals from across the world who are competing. This is not only an opportunity to gain incredible experience, but it is also an opportunity to show the world the level of animal healthcare that Canada can offer.

This is a volunteer position, and CE will of course be given for the hours you spend helping out (including the “emergency preparedness” training sessions you may be required to attend).

If you are interested in helping out, please email Dr. Mike Pownall with a brief summary of your experience as an RVT working with horses. Mike@mpequine.com

Posted in RVT Volunteer Opportunity Tagged , , ,

January 30, 2015 – RVTs Needed in Government Pilot Project

Friday, January 30, 2015

Natalie Thomas, Communications Manager

Big Opportunity for RVTs in Northern Ontario Pilot Project

The importance of RVTs continues to grow within the interest of public health, and this latest call for help is proof of that.

The OAVT has been approached by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the ministry) and the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) with some exciting opportunities for RVTs, and this important email is intended to gauge your interest in getting involved with a ground-breaking project.

In Northern Ontario’s remote and First Nations communities, semi-feral and free-roaming dogs pose a significant risk to the health and safety of community members. WAHA and the ministry have just launched a two-year Dog Population Control and Zoonotic Disease Prevention Pilot Project, with the primary focus being the development of sustainable dog population control, as well as a dog vaccination program.

The six communities this pilot project will focus on are the fly-in First Nations communities of Moose Factory (Moose Cree First Nation and MoCreebec Council of the Cree Nation), Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Attawapiskat and Peawanuk (along the James Bay and Hudson Bay coastline) as well as the Town of Moosonee.

The WAHA Dog Population Control and Zoonotic Disease Prevention Pilot Project has a very detailed action plan that, for the first two years, includes the use of non-surgical contraceptive implants in female dogs, and development of local community capacity to vaccinate their own dogs year-round. “Local capacity” ultimately means teaching members of each community how to facilitate these tasks on their own – while encouraging these individuals to enroll in a veterinary technology program as a step towards becoming a local RVT!

So how does this include RVTs?

We are hoping to collaborate with WAHA and the ministry to assemble six teams of RVTs (one team for each community) to work hands on with that community as animal health mentors. Options being explored include participating directly on trips to the communities, as well as working with the project leadership team to organize and deliver training workshops for community members, and provide web-based support on an ongoing basis. The workshops will allow locals to obtain a baseline of knowledge to administer rabies vaccinations, deworm community dogs on a regular basis, provide basic wound care and understand basic animal behaviour. WAHA and the ministry hope to have the first teams begin working with communities participating in the project as early as May or June.

This is a part of our province without access to veterinary care. RVTs have the opportunity to not only help the animals of these comm unities but ultimately help the communities to develop local capacity to be able to deal with basic animal health issues, improving overall community health and safety.

If you have any interest in being involved in this pilot project, please send an email to Natalie Thomas, OAVT Communications Manager. (Natalie@oavt.org)

Posted in RVT Volunteer Opportunity Tagged , ,

January 26, 2015 – UPDATE: Board of Directors Election to Continue

Monday, January 26, 2015

Natalie Thomas, Communications Manager

UPDATE: Board of Directors Election to Continue

Last week when the OAVT announced that Ron Southwell would be stepping down from his presidency and Board of Directors seat, we also announced that there would be no election this year. Six RVTs were nominated by the OAVT membership to run in the election, and with Ron’s departure, there are now six director seats to be filled with six nominations.

We have since been advised by our AGM parliamentarian that OAVT by-laws indicate we cannot just “acclaim” these nominees to the seats without still proceeding to have the OAVT membership confirm the new directors through a vote. Therefore, in order to fulfill our by-laws, we will proceed with the Board of Directors election scheduled to begin on Sunday, February 1st at 9am.

There are several important details for you to know about this upcoming election:

  • The election will run from Sunday, February 1st at 9am until Saturday, February 14th at 5pm
  • Information on each of the six nominees can now be found on our website once you log on to your profile (in the Forms & Docs. section)
  • Voting will only be done electronically this year, and your electronic ballot will be emailed directly to you

Just to follow-up on the electronic voting, this has been the vision of the OAVT for several years. Voting for the Board of Directors has evolved over time as a way to increase democratic engagement within our membership. In the past, voting was only held at the Annual General Assembly (AGM). Several years ago, OAVT introduced advanced polling which allowed members to vote even if they could not attend the AGM. For the last three years, members could vote online or by mail.

We are completely confident in the online voting system. The majority of our membership has chosen this option for the last three years, as it is extremely convenient and completely anonymous. Electronic voting is also environmentally friendly, and cost-effective for our organization.

If you have any questions about the voting process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And again, log on to your profile to view the six nominees for Board of Directors seats.

Posted in Membership News Tagged , ,

January 23, 2015 – New RVT Bus Shelter Ad

Friday, January 23, 2015

Natalie Thomas, Communications Manager

OAVT Targets Messaging at Employers and Veterinarians

Meet the face of the OAVT’s new ad campaign:

Over the last couple of years, the OAVT has had a focus on promoting Registered Veterinary Technicians and the importance of having RVTs as part of the animal healthcare team.

Now, we are going to take some time to remind workplaces and employers, including veterinarians, that RVTs can make a huge contribution to any business or practice.

This ad is an integral part of OAVT’s messaging. It encourages a team of veterinarians and RVTs collaborating together to deliver the best possible care.

You will see this ad on bus shelters across the city of Toronto beginning this week, to coincide with the OVMA Conference. The ad will remain on bus shelters through mid-spring.

Also look for the cute grey kitten in the upcoming edition of snapd magazine across the GTA. The ad will appear in the February 1st edition of snapd in Annex/Yorkville, Cabbagetown, College and Village.

Don’t forget: if you spot one of our bus shelter ads, grab a picture of it. Maybe you and some RVT friends can fill the bus shelter to take a picture. Tweet us the picture using the hashtag #teamup and help us spread the message: the best animal healthcare teams include veterinarians and Registered Veterinary Technicians working together.

*Location Update*

From Jan. 19 – Feb. 2 the ads can be found at the following transit shelters:

1. Queen’s Quay 50 m east of Yonge St, north side of street, ad facing out to the west
2. Bay Street 46 m north of Queens Quay, east side of street, ad facing to the north
3. Bay Street 50 m south of Harbour St, west side of street, ad facing south

The ads will then be scattered at 15 other sites around major animal hospitals and veterinary clinics in February, March and April.

Posted in Marketing, Membership News Tagged , , ,

January 20, 2015 – RVT Ron Southwell to Leave OAVT Presidency

For immediate release from the office of the OAVT

RVT Ron Southwell to Leave OAVT Presidency

We regret to inform you that RVT Ron Southwell will be stepping down from his Board of Directors seat and the presidency as of February 28th, 2015.

“The job of president requires a commitment to meetings with stakeholders and committees above and beyond the monthly Board of Director meetings,” Ron says. “I feel that this role is too important to have someone who does not have enough free time to put in 100 percent effort and that is why I am stepping down.”

Mr. Southwell first joined the board in March of 2010, and has been serving as president since September 2013.

Working as an RVT for the last 17 years, Ron has been passionate about continually developing his skills and increasing his knowledge. This led him to specialize in referral surgical care and anesthesia for the last 11 years. While seeking new challenges and exploring learning opportunities he became interested in the human healthcare field.

“As part of my future plans,” Ron adds, “I am about halfway through a college diploma in respiratory therapy. Within the next year, the time commitments of this program and maintaining a part time job as an RVT will not let me spend enough time working on OAVT business as your president. I have faith that the strong leadership present in the current Board of Directors and the OAVT office will ensure the future success of the profession of Registered Veterinary Technicians.”

Over the last five years, Ron has contributed to the many accomplishments made by the Board. Some of the achievements he is most proud of include:

• The creation of the OAVT biosecurity externship to help new and future RVTs gain experience in the large animal field and help veterinarians with heard health issues
• An increase in public awareness of what an RVT is (including radio, TV and bus shelter ads)
• The RVT seal that is now found on veterinary clinic doors across the province
• Being part of the Board that hired Rory Demetrioff as the Registrar and Executive Director of the OAVT.
• Appearing on Animal House Calls (CP24) and speaking on Animal House (Newstalk 1010) to increase public awareness about the RVT profession
• Participating in the 2013 OAVT reception at Queens Park , with the goal of informing MPPs of the RVT profession, as well as the lack of distinction from untrained auxiliaries

Please join us in thanking Ron for all of his contributions to the OAVT. We wish him success in all of his future endeavours.

Posted in Membership News Tagged , , , ,