American Hero Veterinarian Winner

Dr. Patricia Canchola

Pueblo, Colorado

Dr. Patti, as she is known in our community, has worked as a shelter veterinarian since 2009 for Pueblo Animal Services. She is the only veterinarian on staff and performs between 3500 and 4500 spay and neuter surgeries every year. In addition, she performs about 200 other surgeries, treating animals that have trauma related injuries, masses, broken bones and other injuries. She is responsible for the care of approximately 5000 animals at the shelter every year, and cares for all with compassion, sensitivity and professionalism. Last year, Dr. Patti took it upon herself to take veterinary forensics courses to be better trained when examining abused, neglected and mistreated animals that are part of criminal investigations. She regularly testifies in cruelty to animals criminal trials, being the voice for the animal victims, so that they may be heard.

On top of this very busy and difficult job, she operates her own non-profit pet food bank, helping hundreds of families every year to feed their pets. As if that was not enough for her to do, she also runs a independent low cost pet health clinic two Saturdays a month, offering affordable vaccines, preventative health care and treatment of common illnesses and minor injuries. The Pueblo community experiences high levels of poverty, which absolutely affects pets every day. Low income pet owners are able to better care for their pets thanks to her Amazin’ Amos Pet Food Pantry and her St. Martins Well Pet Clinic.

American Hero Veterinary Technician Winner

Jeni Hudson from

Decatur, Illinois

Jeni is a CVT. She is great at her job. I always tell people Jeni has nerves of steel and healing hands. Jeni founded a rescue 5 years ago, this rescue takes in pups with cleft palates and other disabilities. She NEVER turns a pup away. Once she arranged transport from New Mexico to Illinois to help save a pup with a cleft palate/ hydrocephalus. She called him Pip. When he passed away, I thought she might stop rescuing all together; but she knew there were more who needed her. Jeni is always researching ways to help the pups receive the best prognosis possible. She knows she cannot save them all; however, if they are willing to live she will fight to give them a chance. Jeni has cared for over 100 puppies in her career. She has spent hours tube feeding pups who would otherwise die if not for her. She has helped the ones who were suffering to cross over even if it breaks her heart. She spares no expense to make sure they have the best of everything they need. Jeni is always advocating for the special needs pups; spreading awareness that they can survive if given a chance. She is changing the way medical professionals view these pups. Until Jeni worked at NGPC pets with clefts were euthanized. Jeni was outside a C-Section when a pup was born with a cleft palate. He was to be euthanized. Jeni knew he deserved a CHANCE at life. She offered to take the pup even after EVERYONE told her he would die. Funny how one puppy and one CVT could change the minds of so many.