Hill's Pet Nutrition Commits $5 Million to OVC

June 18, 2008 - News Release

The University of Guelph today received a $5-million, 10-year commitment from Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. to support a unique educational centre at the Ontario Veterinary College.

"This facility will help create an exciting vision for primary health care for companion animals," said president Alastair Summerlee. "This generous support from Hill's will help OVC and the University to be at the forefront of learning and research, benefiting pets and their owners in Ontario and beyond."

The Hill's Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre will be an international centre of excellence for teaching and research in primary companion animal health care and service delivery. It will provide a variety of educational experiences, from practical skills development to preventive medicine. Students will also learn to educate owners about the health, nutrition and well-being of their animal companions.

"This is a truly groundbreaking development," said Neil Thompson, president of Hill's The Americas. "We believe nutrition should be a foundational cornerstone of wellness and therapeutic care provided to all pets."

The centre — part of the overall redevelopment of OVC and its teaching hospital — is also supported by the Ontario government. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities invested $9.5 million in the facility and OVC redevelopment in February.

OVC dean Elizabeth Stone said she’s thrilled that Hill's is supporting the University’s and veterinary college’s vision. "As a veterinary college, we want to emphasize the importance of primary health care in enhancing the significant relationship between pets and their owners. Hill's commitment will help us create a health care model that includes nutrition, rehabilitation, behaviour, public health and other areas of practice."

A major focus of the centre is building on the innovation, nurturing and career development OVC has always provided student veterinarians, Stone said. Students will be integrally involved in the centre’s management and operation, providing diagnosis and treatment under the supervision of a core staff of veterinarians and technicians who will serve as mentors, trainers and evaluators.

“OVC students will have invaluable learning opportunities,” Stone said, adding that the majority of students will be able to log up to 300 hours and see approximately 200 cases during the four years of their DVM program.

Students from OVC and other veterinary schools will also learn about new and emerging technology and procedures, which will enable them to educate owners about the health of their animals and add value to their future employers and veterinary practices, Stone said.

About OVC
The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is a world leader in veterinary health care, learning and research. Since 1862, its teachers and researchers have been working at the intersection of animal, human and ecosystem health: training future veterinarians and scientists, improving the health of our animal companions, ensuring the safety of food and protecting the environment.

About Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. manufactures Hill’s® Prescription Diet® brand pet foods, therapeutic pet foods available only through veterinarians, and Hill’s® Science Diet® brand pet foods sold through veterinarians and finer pet specialty stores. Founded more than 60 years ago with a unique commitment to pet nutrition and well-being, Hill’s is committed to its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill’s produces high-quality, great-tasting pet foods owners can trust and give to their canine and feline companions as part of a veterinary health care team recommendation. This ultimately improves patient health and the health of the practice. For more information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc., and Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition™ visit HillsPet.com.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338/l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca or Deirdre Healey, 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982/d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1