Helping animals and veterinary health thrive

Susan Koret, whose late husband Joseph started the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation, has a deeply-rooted passion not just for the health and well-being of animals, but also for veterinary education on an international scale.

Mrs. Koret was introduced to UC Davis while seeking treatment for an ill family cat. During her visit she learned about a UC Davis-hosted exchange program for Israeli students and faculty. And so when Mrs. Koret left the clinic a few hours later she had both a healthy cat and a strong desire to expand the UC Davis Israel exchange program to allow more students to have a longer stay.

Since then gifts from the Koret Foundation have helped 58 faculty, scientists and Israeli residents from Hebrew University in Jerusalem (HUJ) participate in academic exchanges at UC Davis. Today, HUJ’s school of veterinary medicine is considered a dynamic leader in the region and beyond.

In addition to this, the Koret Foundation has made donations during The Campaign for UC Davis to support the Center for Companion Animal Health and made $1 million gift to name the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program. The program is the first of its kind in the U.S. because it distinguishes shelter medicine as a specialty for veterinarians. It has led the way nationally, influencing the formation of programs at other veterinary schools, establishing new clinical guidelines for shelters, and spearheading the development of shelter medicine as a specialty now recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“Healthy animals are more adoptable,” said Kate Hurley, director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program, “so when shelter personnel and our program can protect shelter pets from getting sick, we are literally saving their lives.”