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Local vet named state's best

By By Tracy L. Brady, Hartselle Enquirer
Even an appearance on national television doesn't quite compare to this honor.
Dr. Jan Strother of the North Alabama Cat &Bird Clinic in Hartselle recently received the 2001 State Veterinarian of the Year award from the Alabama Veterinary Association (AVA).
A convention held in late June commemorated the event. It was the first convention Strother had missed since she graduated from Tuskegee University's School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986.
"I stayed at home this year to be with my mother," Strother said. "She was battling cancer and I wanted to spend that time with her."
Strother's husband was notified in early April about his wife's award. He and Strother's mother had successfully kept the secret for two months and were planning to surprise Strother at the convention.
"Due to Mom's illness, that didn't happen," Strother said. "Instead, she wrote a letter congratulating me. It will truly be a treasure to me always."
Strother said the most fulfilling aspects of her career are her participation in the American Veterinary Association and the "constructive, creative, and compassionate" veterinarians she works with.
"Veterinary medicine is the only medical profession to strive for the emotional and physical health of people and their pets," Strother said. "It's really an honor to take care of so many great pets who take care of so many great people."
Outside of the office, Strother continues to learn and teach the importance of animal health care. The first female president of the AVA in 90 years for 1997, Strother is also an adjunct professor at Tuskeegee, conducts continuing education lectures throughout the state, and currently serves as a chairperson for the AVA. She is also planning local animal care and awareness presentations through schools and civic/community organizations this fall.
"Through my participation with the AVA, I have been on Good Morning America a few times and other national news shows to discuss animal related topics," Strother said. "I was even asked to appear on Oprah, but this award means so much more