A Note From Co-Founder Dr. George Melillo

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I recently wrote a letter to the AVMA regarding Representative Yoho’s actions toward Representative Ocasio-Cortez that shares an important message. For 36 years I have been an AVMA member and have never felt compelled to write to the association in my veterinary career until now. In the past, the profession and AVMA have heralded Representative Yoho as a dedicated public servant and leader. Sadly, after having accosted Representative Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of our nation’s capital demonstrates his true character. 

As a father of two Latina women, I was appalled at how he treated this bright, passionate, courageous woman.  As my wife and I have read and watched what took place last week, I sheepishly acknowledged that Representative Yoho is a trained veterinarian.  I have spent the past four decades as a veterinarian, encouraging women, people of color, and LGBTQIA folks to join our profession.  I have always felt we have the noblest hearts and value life in a way that most of the world doesn’t understand, let alone respect.  This belief is why I started Heart + Paw and is actually the “Heart” in our company’s name. 

We as a profession are better than Representative Yoho and we need to empower the gifted women, men, and nonbinary individuals who serve and aspire to join our ranks. It is a constant reminder that words matter and actions matter. We will continue to support those that stand up for others and encourage their voices to be heard. 

- George Melillo, VMD

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