Whitney Miller, DVM, MBA has been appointed to the Pet Care Trust board. With a diverse and impressive professional background that has included positions with the federal government and an international animal health company, Dr. Miller currently serves as the director of Veterinary Medicine for Petco. In this role, her expertise supports the company’s Animal Care, Education and Compliance team. Dr. Miller also works closely with Petco’s executive team and cross-functional leaders to ensure that industry-leading standards for animal care are upheld across every level of the company.
Dr. Miller replaces Thomas Edling, DVM, who represented Petco on the Pet Care Trust board for three years.
“Dr. Edling was a valued member of the Trust board who contributed to the success of the Pets in the Classroom program by ensuring that teachers had accurate and up-to-date information available to them on providing proper care to their classroom pets,” Executive Director Steve King said. “We are excited to have Dr. Miller contribute her expertise to continuous improvement of the experience for teachers, their students and their classroom pets.”
“I’m thrilled to represent Petco on the Pet Care Trust Board,” Dr. Miller said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to support the board’s important work and help other leaders in the pet industry promote the human-animal bond in classrooms across the country.”
Prior to joining Petco, Dr. Miller served as a contract veterinarian for Zoetis, a global animal health company that discovers, develops and manufactures a wide variety of vaccines and medications for animals. Her role in pharmacovigilance reporting required her to gather information on products and adverse events from veterinarians across the U.S. Previously, Dr. Miller completed the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Congressional Fellowship program and later worked in federal government relations for the AVMA. In these positions, she advised and advocated on issues ranging from biosecurity/biodefense to animal welfare and the human-animal bond. She has also worked as a private practitioner of companion animal veterinary medicine.
As a member of the Pet Care Trust board, Dr. Miller will be instrumental in supporting the Trust’s Pets in the Classroom program, which provides financial assistance for pre-kindergarten through ninth-grade teachers for the purchase and care of classroom pets. Since its inception in 2010, Pets in the Classroom has issued over 109,000 grants to teachers throughout the U.S. and Canada—enabling more than 5,450,000 children to experience the joy and benefits of interacting with a pet.
Research and anecdotal reports from Pets in the Classroom recipients indicate that caring for a classroom pet has numerous positive effects on a child’s educational, emotional and social development. For example, according to an American Humane Association study of over 1,200 teachers who received Pets in the Classroom grants, pets: enhance children’s senses of empathy, nurturing and respect for life; support the development of strong social skills; promote better school attendance and academic engagement; reduce tension in the classroom; teach children responsibility and leadership skills; and improve confidence and self-esteem. Pets in the Classroom also promotes the humane treatment of animals by instilling in children a sense of compassion for all living creatures and teaching them proper pet care at an early age.
As the Pets in the Classroom program continues to expand, the Trust says Dr. Miller will “undoubtedly be an asset to the program and the Pet Care Trust.”
“The board is proud to welcome Dr. Miller and looks forward to leveraging her unique experience and knowledge in pursuit of our mission to enhance animal welfare, strengthen the human-animal bond and help teachers expose their students to the life-changing experience of caring for a pet,” the organization said.