Paw-senting: Petplan's Veterinary Award Finalists and Pet Parent of the Year

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15 veterinary heroes advance to the final round and the first ever Pet Parent of the Year is announced.

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Set tails to "wag": Petplan, America's best-loved pet insurance provider, is proud to introduce the 2015 Veterinary Awards finalists and the winner of the first ever Pet Parent of the Year award.

The 15 finalists stood head and tails above the competition. An independent Judging Panel, comprised of esteemed pet health professionals and veterinarians, paw-picked each finalist from thousands of nominations. Finalists were selected for their impact on veterinary medicine and their commitment to providing an exceptional level of care to pets. The panel also considered the more than 7,000 votes of support Petplan received from clients, colleagues and pet parents nationwide.

"The outstanding clinics and individuals who have been selected as finalists represent everything that is great about veterinary care in the US," says Petplan co-founder and co-CEO Natasha Ashton. "From caring receptionists to valiant veterinarians to the practice managers who keep it all together, these industry champions stand side-by-side and paw-in-paw with the nation's pet parents and their four-legged family members. Our Veterinary Awards Judging Panel thoroughly reviewed each and every nomination, and we're delighted to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes they have chosen."

Without further paws, here are the finalists:

Practice of the Year
Coral Springs Animal Hospital - Coral Springs, FL
Metropolitan Veterinary Associates - Valley Forge, PA
Riverview Animal Hospital - Durango, CO

Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Mark Dilworth, Beaches Animal Hospital - Toronto, ON
Dr. Tracey Jensen, Wellington Veterinary Clinic PC - Wellington, CO
Dr. Matthew Wheaton, Alicia Pet Care Center - Laguna Hills, CA

Veterinary Technician of the Year
Monique Feyrecilde, LVT, Mercer Island Veterinary Clinic - Mercer Island, WA
Samantha Fritz Waibel, CVT, Center for Animal Referral & Emergency Services (CARES) - Langhorne, PA
Sarah Governski, LVT, Hope Advanced Veterinary Center - Vienna, VA

Practice Manager of the Year
Gretchen Dillon-Sauer, CVPM, South Carolina Veterinary Specialists - Columbia, SC
Sophia Sanchez, Mesa Veterinary Clinic - El Paso, TX
Patricia Wininger, Springboro Veterinary Hospital, Springboro - OH

Receptionist of the Year (new this year!)
Bob Gauthier, Red Mountain Animal Hospital - Mesa, AZ
Tracey Hinkle, Westfield Animal Hospital - Westfield, NJ
Catherine Quigley, Dakota Veterinary Hospital - Winnipeg, MB

Petplan would also like to introduce Lindsay Condefer, winner of Petplan's first ever Pet Parent of the Year Award! Lindsay’s boundless compassion for the wellbeing of pets, especially those with special needs, shined through her nomination and quickly caught the attention of the Judging Panel. The founder of Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR) in Philadelphia, Lindsay gives pets with extensive special needs, who are usually deemed “unadoptable,” a second chance at life by providing them with proper medical attention. No stranger to fostering special needs dogs, Lindsay also raised Lentil, a French Bulldog with a sever cleft palate who required tube feedings every two hours for the first four months of his life. Lindsay and Lentil now work together to raise awareness for children with craniofacial differences – who are often the target of bullying – by encouraging the public to choose kindness.

What's next? The cat will be let out of the bag on Sunday, January 18, 2015 when winners are announced at Petplan's 2015 Veterinary Awards Dinner at the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando, FL, held in concert with the North American Veterinary Community Conference. With the finalists and Pet Parent of the Year winner in attendance, Dr. Ernie Ward will emcee an evening celebrating the best of the best in veterinary medicine.

Finalists will receive a trip to attend the gala. As honored guests of Petplan, travel and accommodation are included. The overall winner in each category will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize, a $1,000 donation to a pet-focused charity of their choice and pawesome prizes from Dog is Good, Tagg – The Pet Tracker,, K9 FitClub, PetHub and more!

To fetch more information about Petplan’s Veterinary Awards, please visit


Petplan is more than a pet insurance company. We're dedicated to providing pet parents with the support, resources and tools they need to keep their pets not just surviving—but thriving—into their old age. Simply put, we aim to be the kind of company that will make our pets proud. For the second consecutive year, Petplan was listed among the top 50 companies on Forbes' annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan is the only pet insurance company to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America.

Petplan’s fully customizable cat and dog insurance policies provide comprehensive coverage for all hereditary and chronic conditions for the life of the pet as standard. Petplan policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group was rated A+ by A.M. Best in 2012. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

Now in its fourth year, the Petplan Veterinary Awards honor the important work of America’s veterinary professionals who go above and beyond, providing pets with exceptional care and clients with exceptional customer service. Petplan is proud to carry on the tradition of rewarding excellence in veterinary medicine fostered by our sister company, Petplan UK, whose own Vet Awards are Britain’s pre-eminent industry celebration. For more information about Petplan’s Veterinary Awards, please visit

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Katy Rambo
Brian Communications
+1 (484) 385-2937
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Jessica Kinney
Sr. PR Associate, Petplan
(610) 886-5224
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