American Hero Veterinarian Winner

Dr. Raquel Fagan

Since becoming the owner of Shamrock Animal Hospital in 2016, Dr. Fagan and her team have pursued a simple mission: Do Great Work, Have Fun and Give Back. Dr. Fagan serves the animal health needs of families throughout central Florida based on the simple idea that every patient is unique and deserves the individual care and attention that her education and experience have blessed her with.

Since 2019, Dr. Fagan has also served as the medical director for Patriot Service Dogs, a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for veterans. By donating her time and resources, along with generous donations of products and services from veterinary industry partners, Dr. Fagan provides all vaccinations, heartworm prevention and spay/neuter services at no cost to PSD.

PSD completes a significant portion of training in the largest women’s prison in Florida. The WOOF program allows incarcerated women to work with and train the dogs. On multiple occasions throughout the year, Dr. Fagan visits the prison to provide wellness exams and vaccinations for dogs that are in training. She also educates the inmate-trainers on a broad range of canine health topics and shares opportunities that they may have in the animal health field following their release.

Dr. Fagan knew she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was just six years old, and she has dedicated her whole life to caring for animals. She demonstrates heroism every day, through her compassion, caring and knowledge.

Dr. Fagan, thank you for all you do for your community and beyond.

American Hero Veterinary Nurse Winner

Cheri Herschell

Cheri offers immeasurable contributions to Crisis Center North and its PAWS for Empowerment Program. She trains CCN staff on appropriate interactions with working dogs and certifies the canine handler teams who work hands-on with clients in counseling and court work. Her medical expertise as a veterinary technician is invaluable in creating guidelines for the working dogs, ensuring they are both mentally and physically healthy.

As a canine intervention specialist at CCN, Cheri attends magisterial court as a legal advocate with Canine Advocate, Rune. She also develops and offers presentations for veterinary staff and students about the intersectionality of human and animal abuse. Cheri’s 15 years of experience working as a veterinary nurse allow her to make connections with communities which plays an invaluable role in keeping victims of domestic violence and their companion animals safe. She has reached more than 600 veterinary professionals with a tiered curriculum designed to help vets recognize their role as advocates in the fight against family violence. The presentations not only inform veterinary staff of the correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence, but also assist them in recognizing and reporting animal neglect and abuse; signs of human abuse; and how to assist victims to get help.

Cheri is taking her message to a national veterinary audience, which will encourage veterinarians to partner with their local DV organizations, be advocates in the prevention of family violence, and keep both ends of the leash safe. She is the embodiment of a hero.