American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, recognized what we at Zoetis have known for a long time: Dr. J. Michael (Mike) McFarland, Group Director, Companion Animal Marketing at Zoetis, is an exemplary advocate for animals. Mike recently received the National Humanitarian Medal, American Humane’s most prestigious honor.

“Dr. McFarland’s unwavering dedication to animal welfare is a true testament to his character and values, and we are honored to recognize a person of his caliber with our most prestigious award,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. Dr. Ganzert presented the award to Mike at the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards in Los Angeles, California on September 12, 2016.

Long history of helping animals

Dr. McFarland has worked at Zoetis for over 16 years and has been a veterinarian for more than 30 years. In his career, he has become known for his compassionate leadership and selfless service to our veterinarian customers. He is a champion of lifesaving disaster relief efforts at the company. Dr. McFarland recently helped lead Zoetis’ emergency response to the Louisiana floods, as well as Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina and other major crises. His animal advocacy led him to co-create and be executive sponsor of the Zoetis K-9 Courage™ Program, which helps retired military and police dogs with annual healthcare costs at veterinary clinics.

“Dr. McFarland is an extraordinary veterinarian and industry leader who has devoted his career to caring for animals and serving our veterinary customers,” said Steve Leder, Senior Vice President, Zoetis Companion Animal and U.S. Distribution. “He goes above and beyond every day, and I can think of no one more deserving of this national recognition. We at Zoetis are proud to call him our friend and colleague.”

More than a job

Dr. McFarland’s work on behalf of animals does not stop when he leaves the office. He is involved in animal welfare organizations outside Zoetis as well. He is a founder and current vice president of the board of trustees for the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative. At American Humane, Mike serves on the board of directors and helped come up with the idea and design for its Canines and Childhood Cancer Study.

In good company

Dr. McFarland’s award puts him in good company with other past winners of the National Humanitarian Medal, including America’s sweetheart Betty White, country-music superstar Miranda Lambert, poultry producer Gus Arrendale, and Hollywood director Jon Turteltaub.

“I am humbled by this recognition, and I’m so proud and privileged to be associated with such an outstanding organization as American Humane,” said Dr. McFarland. “I’m also very grateful for the support from Zoetis over the years, providing me with the time and the resources to support our shared mission of saving and improving the lives of animals, as well as the people who love them.”

Learn more

Tune in to watch Dr. McFarland and the rest of the Hero Dog Awards during a special broadcast (in the U.S. only) on the Hallmark Channel on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 8pm PT.

Read more about this year’s American Humane National Humanitarian Award.