OVC Pet Trust is about the human-animal bond

A message from our OVC Pet Trust board chair Dr. Doreen Houston


My three-year-old Golden Retriever, Obi, is a source of love and purpose.

Like many pet owners would probably agree, sharing your life with a beloved animal has a profound effect on our collective well-being. As a veterinarian and scientist, I could talk about the biochemical and physiological changes on a technical level, but the reality is, animals take up a large part of our hearts, uplifting our spirits, decreasing our stress and anxieties and providing endless comfort. My dog accepts me for who I am; he lives in the moment; he is my reminder to stand up and stretch, take a break from work and go outdoors for fresh air; and he gives more than I could ever give back in return.

My goofy Obi is 90lbs of adventure; he makes me laugh more often than not; he makes me see and experience the world differently; and he brings me so much joy.  


People love their pets. During this time of crisis, that has never been more apparent.

To me, the human-animal bond is a special connection that truly encompasses how we connect and interact with our pets. It’s mutual and critical to our well-being. That bond, for me and my dog, has been even further enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic.


When you give to OVC Pet Trust, you pay it forward. Your support is a beautiful and meaningful way to honour and give back to the pets in your life who gives you so much. You are helping to advance scientific and medical discovery that will help in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases that affect our beloved animals.

But to me, it’s even more than that. Receiving a notification that a donation in memory of my past dog Rayner was made to OVC Pet Trust was more than a true honour; it was an acknowledgement of the role my cherished dog played in my life. Every pet that we spend our lives with takes a piece of our heart.  By giving back to OVC Pet Trust, you are memorializing or honouring a life; that legacy lives on forever, which in turns, helps more pets.

I am incredibly grateful to belong to a wonderful and rewarding profession. Veterinarians have a vital role in nurturing and strengthening the human-animal bond. We contribute to the health and welfare of the animals that are entrusted to us, improving life for pets and their people.

Giving back to OVC Pet Trust at the Ontario Veterinary College honours the bond I share with my dog, which in turn, helps more pets live longer, healthier lives with the people who love them so dearly. I know you’ll agree the unconditional love our animals bring to our lives is truly irreplaceable.

Please join me and give today.


Dr. Doreen Houston
OVC Alumna, DVM 1980
Veterinarian and Small Animal Internal Medicine Specialist
OVC Pet Trust Board Chair