Veterinarian (Champaign County Humane Society & University of Illinois)

Companion Animals August 07, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Name: G. Robert Weedon, DVM, MPH

Employer:  Dr. Weedon currently works at the Champaign County Humane Society, and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.   

Job Title:   Dr. Robert Weedon is the Shelter Veterinarian for the Champaign County Humane Society, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois.

Educational Background:  Dr. Weedon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from Purdue University, a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Job Description:

As the shelter veterinarian for Champaign County Humane Society, Dr. Weedon is responsible for the health of the animals in the shelter.  His job includes infectious disease prevention and control, as well as animal population control (we sterilize all animals prior to adoption), and to a lesser extent education about responsible pet ownership and assisting with humane investigations. 

At the College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Weedon mentors fourth-year veterinary students in their shelter medicine rotations.  He also teaches two courses in shelter medicine, and advises the Illinois Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

Favorite Component of His Job: At the Champaign Humane Society he states, “I’d have to say the favorite part of my job at CCHS is sterilizing animals.  That way I know when the get adopted, they won’t contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.  A close second would be mentoring the students and seeing their abilities improve.”  Finally, when talking about his teaching position at the University of Illinois he states the favorite part of that job is, “Probably seeing a student “get it.”  That is to say introducing a topic that, heretofore, a student was unaware of and seeing the light bulb go on.”

Least Favorite Component of His Job:  Dr. Weedon admits that the least favorite component of his job would be working with limited resources, as can be the case for many non-profit animal organizations.   

A Special Experience or Story about His Job:“One of Weedon’s Laws is that life is what happens while you are making other plans.  When I graduated from veterinary school, I couldn’t have told you what shelter medicine or public health were all about; now I am living them.  I started out wanting to be an equine orthopedic surgeon, but did more small animal surgery because the technology was more sophisticated.  My love of surgery eventually caused me to get involved with animal population control, which led me to volunteer at our local shelter, where I could mentor pre-veterinary students in surgery.  Mentoring students also got me interested in rabies prevention because the students wanted to do a community project, and they decided to do an on-campus rabies vaccination clinic in conjunction with the inaugural World Rabies Day initiative.  That led to volunteer opportunities with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, which eventually morphed into a full time job.  When the opportunity to work at a shelter and mentor students in their shelter medicine rotation came up, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity, because I could work directly with them, and teach shelter medicine at the veterinary school level.  You just never know where life will take you.” 

Dr. Weedon’s Recommendations to Those Interested in a Career Similar to His Own: “Well, I suppose my best advice would be to be a lifelong learner.  You just never know where life will take you, so I would encourage you to prepare, and be open to new opportunities.  Also, it is important to give back to your community.  By volunteering, you can help those in need, and you never know when that could turn into a full time position.”

 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.