Woodbury vet’s pooch named a top dogLocal veterinarian Kate An Hunter’s dog Ansel isn’t your typical celebrity dog.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Local veterinarian Kate An Hunter’s dog Ansel isn’t your typical celebrity dog.
Ansel, who is part pit bull, is 13 years old, a rescue and shy.
However, Ansel was recognized as a celebrity when he received the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association’s (MVMA) Animal Hall of Fame Companion award. The dog was recognized during the annual MVMA convention Saturday at the Hyatt Hotel in Minneapolis.
“He’s not what you would expect,” said Hunter, a veterinarian at Carver Lake Veterinary Center. “He’s not a real outgoing dog; he loves his friends, he loves kids, but he’s kind of a shy guy.”
The MVMA Hall of Fame honors outstanding contributions that animal companions make to enrich human lives and heighten public awareness of the human-animal bond.
The Hall of Fame recognized animals in three categories: companion, for animals who have provided a benefit to their human companions or their community; hero, which recognizes animals who have saved or preserved human life; and professional, for animals especially trained to assist humans.
“In the past we’ve had dogs, cats, horses who either contributed a lot to the community, maybe saved someone’s life or even therapy dogs,” Hunter said.
Ansel was nominated by a friend of Hunter’s who works closely with MVMA.
Ansel is always there
Hunter adopted Ansel nearly 12 years ago from the Animal Humane Society.
Ansel comes to work at Carver Lake Veterinary Center everyday with Hunter and has several duties at the clinic. He helps demonstrate to clients the ins and outs of canine tooth brushing, and pill and injection administration, among other things.
He also helps the staff and students training at Carver Lake Veterinary Center learn canine anatomy by allowing them to practice handling, nail care, bathing and other diagnostics.
“He doesn’t have a big sparkling personality, but he’s always there when we need him,” Hunter said. “He’s always been there and always been a good boy for things like that.”
Hunter said Ansel has also helped dispel some of the preconceived ideas of the pit bull breed.
“He’s helped me understand more about the breed and show people that they can be really great dogs,” she said.
Ansel also works with Carver Lake Veterinary Center's "Bite Prevention Team" visiting classrooms and events around the community teaching children how to be safe around dogs.
Additionally, Ansel has been featured in many of 3M's print ads for veterinary products and has worked as a demonstration dog for both 3M and Premier Pet Products.
Hunter and Ansel are also frequent guests of the “Ask a Vet” show on Minnesota Public Radio.
Hunter said having Ansel recognized for all that he does is a great honor.
“Even though he’s not some sort of superstar,” Hunter said, “in his own little way he’s done a lot to help people.”