For Immediate Release – February 4, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – During the Oklahoma Veterinary Conference (OKVC) each year the newest class of Animal Hall of Fame inductees are announced and recognized during the membership breakfast. The Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) established the Animal Hall of Fame to celebrate the link between animals and people and to honor domestic animals who exemplify the strength and value of the human-animal bond. This year, during the 2020 OKVC, the OVMA awarded two individuals the title of 2020 OVMA Pet Hall of Fame in the Companion Animal category – Charley and Ziva.
Charley, a female Welsh Terrier, has worked as a therapy dog for over ten years and is a member of Human Animal Link of Oklahoma, an AKC recognized therapy dog organization. During her time as a therapy dog she has made over three thousand visits to comfort those in need and was even nominated at the AKC for “Therapy Dog of the Year” for nine years straight. Throughout her career Charley kept a steady schedule making five scheduled visits a week on top of special scheduled visits when someone was in need.
Over the years Charley has done many amazing things as a therapy dog but her veterinarian, Dr. Doug Ruby, recalled these memories as some of his most cherished: watching her provide comfort and support while in the arms of children and the elderly after the Moore tornado, seeing a young girl’s reading level increase by four grade levels in seven months after reading to Charley at the library, and sitting in the ER at Mercy in the aftermath of the Piedmont tornado and watching her lick the tears off of the faces of two young girls before they were taken away by medical professionals.
Trilite Ziva DaDiva, better known as “Ziva”, was nominated by her veterinarian, Dr. Sara Brown. Ziva, a Shetland sheepdog had been surrendered to the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter where she was luckily taken in by a sheltie rescue and her now owner adopted her later the same day. In 2013, just a year after being surrendered to the animal shelter, she passed her Therapy Dog International exam. Since then both Ziva and her owner have regularly visited numerous hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. They are beloved visitors of the patients and staff at OU Children’s Hospital where their weekly visits help alleviate stress and bring smiles to those in need.
During her time at the OU Children’s Hospital Ziva not only comforts patients and staff, she participates in pet therapy night and has been known to help the kids with their art projects. When she isn’t visiting patients or helping the next budding artist her and her owner are leading group sessions designed to increase socialization, encourage mobility, and educate on pet safety. Ziva’s impressive obedience skills and tricks inspire patients and their families to train their own dogs while providing a good laugh while she jumps rope or sneezes on command.
After reading their nominations and learning about the countless selfless hours both Charley and Ziva serve as therapy dogs it’s clear why they are this year’s inductees. The OVMA would like to congratulate them, their owners, and their veterinarians on this great honor and send a sincere thank you to them for all that they do.
The Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association is a professional trade organization for veterinarians dedicated to advancing the art and science of veterinary medicine, promoting high educational and ethical standards within the veterinary medical profession, promoting the health and welfare of the livestock industry of Oklahoma and protect and improve the health of all animals, and educating the public concerning animal health and its relationship to human health. To learn more about the association click here.