The Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics

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SVME Shomer Award for Veterinary Ethics

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This prestigious award is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Robert Shomer, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1934. Dr. Shomer was a co-founder and first President of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics. He was very passionate about the ethics of veterinary practice. He served the animal kingdom, the veterinary community and humankind with veracity, wit and passion. His intellect, courage and eloquence are hallmarks of true leadership in the field of veterinary medical ethics.

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Award Criteria:

This award is bestowed upon an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of veterinary medical ethics. The recipient must have a distinguished career as a leader in the field of veterinary medical ethics through scholarship, advocacy, or mentorship. Recipients should be outstanding individuals who throughout their professional careers have promoted and embodied the qualities of a true professional including veracity, compassion, courage and integrity.

Selection criteria for the award include:

  • Leadership and advocacy in local, regional, national or international veterinary ethics
  • Scholarship in the field of veterinary ethics
  • Evidence of good character
  • History of inspiring students and/or members of the veterinary profession.


Nominations for this award can be made to Dr. Karyl Hurley by October 15, 2020.  The award may be granted on an annual basis as qualified individuals are identified.

Please download the form below to nominate the
2021 Shomer Award Recipient.

   Shomer Award Nomination Form.pdf


The recipient will receive a personalized plaque and a cash prize of $1,000.00 (US) at an Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with the SVME Ethics Sessions during the VMX Conference.

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2020 Shomer Award Winner:

Alice Villalobos, DVM, FNAP

for her years of service and leadership for the SVME, and for her role as the "Mother" of veterinary hospice and her HHHHHMM (H5M2) Quality of Life Scale for evaluating pets at end of life, with emphasis on bioethical decision making for euthanasia, while honoring the human-animal bond. In 2000, Villalobos introduced Pawspice, an end of life care philosophy that embraces kinder, gentler palliative cancer care and palliative medicine for terminal pets, while supporting the emotional needs of carers.

Paul Pion, DVM, ACVIM, Co-Founder of VIN, presented the 2020 SVME Shomer Ethics Award to Alice Villalobos, DVM, FNAP during the all day Ethics Track at VMX Conference in Orlando, FL.

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(Go to the Past Shomer Award Recipients page for more details about past winners)

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