Dr. Rodger Barr
Rodger Barr graduated from the U of M. College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. He received the prestigious Upjohn Award for Proficiency in Veterinary Medicine, this award is given to the one senior small animal student who exemplifies excellence in the the small animal discipline, and is voted on by the professors and clinicians at the College. He completed an internship at Colorado State University from 1975-1976. After gaining experience at several small animal hospitals in Portland, Oregon and St. Paul, Mn., he started the Foley Blvd. Animal Hospital in 1981 with one employee, who still works at the clinic as the Office Manager, now his wife Donna Barr, the practice currently has 6 DVM's and over 35 employees.
Upon graduation, he had a desire to develop an area of expertise that would give him the focus and passion that he sought in his chosen field. Greyhounds entered his life in 1975 during his internship and the love affair began and has lasted all these years. He coordinated and directed the first local Sighthound/ Greyhound seminar in St. Paul in 1978 for Veterinarians, breeders and dog owners, and has given presentations all over the U.S. to groups especially interested in Greyhounds.
He served on the Board of the Anoka County Humane Society in the mid 80's while at the same time, owning and racing Greyhounds, a unique combination. Dr. Barr has been associated with greyhound adoption since 1976; he was involved with the original greyhound retirement group, Regap. Was on the original Board of Directors of Greyhound Pets of America in the early ‘80’s, and in 1996 was involved in the establishment of Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption (NLGA). He became the first President of the organization in 1996, and remains the only President the organization has had. Very simply, greyhounds have been the center of Dr. Barr's universe for the last 42 years and counting.
Dr. Barr lives in Hudson, Wi. with his wife Donna, who is a major coordinator for the adoption group, three retired greyhounds, three American short hair cats, Dr. Barr’s hobbies include travel, reading, greyhounds, eating great food and cooking on his Big Green Egg.
Created by Dr. Guillermo Couto, The Greyhound Health Initiative is a nonprofit organization uniquely dedicated to improving sighthound health and wellness on a global scale through education and outreach programs. Brian will be speaking about the organization's history, programs, membership benefits and upcoming research projects.
About Brian Collins, Executive Director
Brian has been involved with Greyhounds since his wife (then fiancée) convinced him to adopt their first one, Miss Nellie, in 2003. Within weeks they were fostering and have helped 20+ retired racers find their forever homes (and had three foster failures of their own). He first met Dr. Guillermo Couto in 2005 when Nellie was diagnosed with a heart murmur, and again in 2007, when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Amputation and chemo only bought her 6 more months, but they were mostly happy months. Their pack then grew to 5 through 2008 but they are currently down to two seniors, having lost 3 to cancer (two to osteosarcoma, including Nellie, and one to hemangiosarcoma) and one to old age, Maggie, who made it 5 years and 4 months post-amputation after surviving her own battle with osteosarcoma. Brian got involved with The Greyhound Health Initiative when he was approached by Dr. Couto in 2014 to help with the new venture as the Secretary of the Board. Later that year he took on the role of Executive Director. Ever since then he likes to say that his “life has gone to the dogs and it’s never been better.”
Dr. Guillermo Couto
Dr. C. Guillermo Couto is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialties of Internal Medicine and Oncology. He has coauthored the best selling Small Animal Internal Medicine textbook (Elsevier), now on its 5th Edition, has published over 150 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and 150 book chapters. He has 40 years of experience in clinical and comparative hematology, oncology, transfusion medicine, and clinical pathology, and is an expert in Greyhound and sighthound medicine. Learn more >>
John Parker, Esq.
John Parker graduated from the Washington & Lee University School of Law in 1978 and adopted his first Greyhound in 1994. He became a Greyhound adoption volunteer in 1995, and helped found GPA-Atlanta / Southeastern Greyhound Adoption in 1998. He is the President of the Southeastern Greyhound Club, which is based in metro Atlanta. Georgia and has over 300 members.
John has practiced law in Atlanta for 39 years, with a concentration in civil litigation and contract law. Among his pro bono clients are Greyhound adoption groups, for which he provides counsel on the drafting of adoption contracts and their enforcement.
Another Greyhound interest of John’s is Greyhound breed history and preservation. He has traveled to England and Ireland on eight occasions to witness the historic Waterloo Cup coursing meeting and the National Coursing Meeting of Ireland, and to study the historic coursing Greyhound. He has authored articles on Greyhound breed history and coursing for Celebrating Greyhounds, Performance Sighthound Journal and Field Advisory News.
John and his wife Laura live on their SummerWind Farm near Moreland, Georgia with their 13 Greyhounds, 2 Whippets and 3 horses.
Dr. Melissa Shelton
Melissa Shelton DVM attained her degree from The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. She is the owner of Crow River Animal Hospital in Howard Lake, MN – where her work with the medical use of essential oils for animals began in 2008. In 2011, she dedicated her practice solely to the research and advancement of veterinary aromatherapy. Dr. Shelton is devoted to providing accurate, honest, and documented information regarding essential oil use in the animal kingdom - and is a popular speaker at veterinary conferences. In 2014, Dr. Shelton introduced animalEO, a line of veterinary essential oil products for animals. She has presented on the use of essential oils throughout the United States, Japan, Australia, and Canada and has also authored several books and journal articles regarding the use of essential oils in animals. More information can be found at www.animalEO.info
Dr. Julia Tomlinson
Dr. Julia Tomlinson BVSc MS PhD DACVS CCRP CVSMT is a board certified specialist in rehabilitation and sports medicine (Diplomate, ACVSMR); she was the first such canine specialist in the state of Minnesota and is currently ( in 2015) one of 62 canine sports medicine and rehabilitation specialists in the world. She is president-elect of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Dr. Tomlinson earned her veterinary degree from the University of Liverpool, England. She practiced equine sports medicine and surgery (DACVS equine surgery) prior to pursuing her interest in working with small animals and so brings skills from the world of horse sports. Her Master’s degree in ultrasound of the equine sacroiliac joint gave her skills that she uses today in imaging muscles and tendons to help diagnosis. She has a PhD in physiology from NC State, where she studied pain medications, and she is also a Certified Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapist (animal ‘chiropractic’ equivalent).
Dr. Tomlinson lectures nationally and internationally at conferences for veterinarians and is a consultant in musculoskeletal wellness for the pet food industry.
Dr. Tomlinson founded the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians in 2007. She is responsible for keeping the veterinary association members up to date on scientific studies in the field of sports medicine, rehabilitation, surgery, pharmacology and nutrition. She is also an active member of the Canine Sports Medicine Association and the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.
Dr. Tomlinson has a special interest in sports medicine, healthy aging and management of chronic pain. She lives with her canine and human family in Minneapolis, where she enjoys running and motorcycling.