Archived News

New Director Joins Center for Animals in Society

August 12, 2003

Dr. Richard P. TimminsUC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine welcomes Richard P. Timmins, DVM, as director of the Center for Animals in Society. The center aims to enrich the lives of people and enhance the well-being of animals by developing practical applications of scientific knowledge inspired by the human-animal bond.

Under Timmins' direction, the center will develop funding to support scientific studies of service dogs, issues associated with animal shelters such as pet overpopulation and animal abandonment, the use of animals and animal models in educational settings, and the nature and effects of attachments between humans and animals.

Established in 1985, the Center for Animals in Society has published research on animal behavior, pet loss, alternatives to the use of animals in teaching and research, the beneficial health effects of pets, and related subjects.

As director, Timmins will work closely with faculty from several units dealing with the human-animal bond, including the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the Center for Companion Animal Health and the Office of Public Programs. "The School of Veterinary Medicine offers many strengths for developing new projects," Timmins explains. "For example, the pioneering Pet Loss Support Hotline expands our understanding of the difficult issues of grief, loss and euthanasia surrounding the death of an animal companion. Not only does it provide a service to pet owners, but it also enhances our ability to teach veterinarians how to support their clients during this difficult time."

Timmins expects to expand the new Program for Veterinary Family Practice into a certificate program that will provide the knowledge and skills necessary for veterinarians to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving relationship between humans and companion animals. The center will also work with student organizations dedicated to outreach, animal rescue, and services for underserved populations. Center faculty will share the practical applications of their research with veterinarians and consumers as well as veterinary students.

Timmins is a 1977 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and former practice owner in Springfield, Oregon. In 1990, Timmins joined the Iams Company of Dayton, Ohio, and helped develop that company's Veterinary Academic Affairs Program. He has written and spoken internationally on topics relating to pet nutrition and health and veterinary practice management. Timmins is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians.

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine conducts teaching, research and service statewide to benefit animal, human and environmental health. Companion animal programs include the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and the Center for Companion Animal Health.

Media contact: Lynn Narlesky, Communications, (530) 752-5257,