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SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE GRADUATE ASSIGNED TO CARE FOR WHITE HOUSE PETS, PENTAGON ANIMALS

Captain Janice L. Baker, DVM, a 1999 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has been assigned to Ft. Meyer, VA, where her duties as an officer in the Army Veterinary Corps include veterinary care of Buddy, Socks and other White House pets. Her first day on the job, October 23, she examined the Clinton's family dog "Buddy" as her first patient. Because of specialty training in equine medicine that she began while a student at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Baker's major responsibilities involve veterinary care of 38 ceremonial horses of the Caisson Platoon at Arlington National Cemetery. She oversees the health of 22 working dogs at the Pentagon that are trained to sniff out explosives.

"Much of the mission of Army veterinarians is preventive medicine, control of zoonotic diseases (diseases transmissible between animals and humans), and public health," Baker states. "Combined with my interest in horses and large animals, this was the perfect assignment."

Baker spent four months in medical officer basic training before her assignment to Ft. Meyer and received security clearance from the Pentagon. As a medical officer, she serves on advisory boards dealing with rabies prevention and food safety.

In 1999, while an intern in the equine field service at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Baker worked closely with the military and government agencies working on agricultural and veterinary issues. She played a large role in responding to animal issues during Hurricane Floyd floods, including working with faculty member John E. Madigan in some dramatic animal airlift rescues, and became part of a new task force developing a state-wide animal and agricultural disaster plan in North Carolina.

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is California's prime resource in animal-related health and veterinary education, including the 4-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program and residency training in equine medicine and surgery.