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[In alphabetical order by last name]

CARE assists in elevating Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [BIPOC] communities and their pets without preference for or judgment of cultural nuances within the communities we partner with. While CARE works tirelessly to amplify BIPOC communities and organizations that seek to partner, CARE does not solely represent or reflect the individual identity of any culture or tradition. In short, CARE is representative of a diverse collective BIPOC experience.

CARE recognizes the term “Chief” [Deriving from French] has been used pejoratively toward Indigenous communities. Nevertheless, CARE uses the word in much the same way indigenous communities use it today, as a title earned by those who have shown an uncompromising willingness to lead with love, wisdom, and compassion. CARE also uses the term “Chief” because it aligns with the White Dominant Power Structure we must all navigate within. That alignment includes our desire to ensure CARE division leaders are presented on the same representative level as their counterparts outside CARE.

CARE’s vernacular, including team member titles, may not fully reflect the preference of all communities, cultures, or individuals. However, please trust that CARE continuously evaluates its language to be clear and mitigate harm.

– James Evans, CEO, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity [CARE]


CARE Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC)

In the interest of human and animal well-being, the CARE Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) provides thought leadership for CARE’s access to care and preventative initiatives. We recognize that to achieve our goal to cultivate the human-animal bond among Black, Indigenous, and people of color in the United States, we must devise strategies that support the design of programs that address animal well-being in communities underserved by the current systems in place.

In doing so, the advisory committee is tasked with tackling this challenge directly by providing guidance in the development and implementation of several planned CARE Community Clinics and support for the annual Dr. Jodie G Blackwell Scholarship Fund. Major initiatives aside, the advisory Committee will also provide insight and expertise across all aspects of CARE’s comprehensive well-being programming.

In addition to the clinics and scholarship fund, the advisory committee will guide future efforts to further advance CARE’s mission-driven work, which will include organizing student-led veterinary clubs, and access to preventive animal well-being programming, while also supporting the design of resource guides for communities, students, and companion pet parents.

CARE’s Veterinary Advisory Committee is an invitation-only, volunteer-based committee that will meet once a quarter. All members are required to take CARE’s Oath which prioritizes the interest of human and animal well-being.

Dr. Boyd

CARE's Veterinary Advisory Committee is chaired by: Dr. Boyd, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Urban Community Animal Care

Special thanks to all the advisory committee members. We deeply appreciate your time and insights.

Dr. Vernard Hodges

Dr. Vernard Hodges, a proud graduate of Fort Valley State University and the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, is a fish biologist and veterinarian who practices on all types of animals in central Georgia, from koi to camels. Dr. Hodges is a founder of multiple successful veterinary hospitals, but he practices primarily at Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital in Bonaire, GA. Dr. Hodges and Critter Fixer were so successful, they caught the attention of the National Geographic Channel. He stars in a television show called “Critter Fixers: Country Vets” on National Geographic Wild and Disney+, which will air its fifth season in 2023. Dr. Hodges considers himself a Renaissance man. Besides veterinary medicine, he loves dabbling in all types of enterprises. He operates the Critter Fixer Cattle Company, a ranching operation with over 100 head of Black Angus cattle. He started a real estate company in 2001 that has grown to a multi-million-dollar business comprised of several apartment complexes and commercial properties. He started writing a real estate blog that ultimately led to his writing a bestselling book: “Bet on Yourself: From Zero to Millions.” In addition to his businesses, Dr. Hodges loves giving back to his local community. In 2011, he started the Dr. Vernard Hodges “It Takes A Village” Foundation, a nonprofit charity organization that teaches children business skills. He believes that the best way to overcome socioeconomic disparity is to have multiple streams of income. In 2021, the Foundation launched the “Vet for a Day” program, which targets children aged 12-15 to help them gain the tools to enter the veterinary profession. Dr. Hodges and the Foundation are partnering with Zoetis in 2022 to make Vet for a Day a nationwide program. Dr. Hodges has won numerous awards for his business acumen and his community service. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and enjoys spending time with his four dogs and watching sports with his 17-year-old son, VJ.


Dr. Krista Miller, a native of Mississippi, currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA. She is a 2008 graduate of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Starkville, MS. She received her B.S. Degree from Alcorn State University in Animal Science in 2004. She has been licensed and practiced veterinary medicine, dentistry, and general surgery in the states of MS, AR, CA, and now LA. Her veterinary career has explored various opportunities within the field including shelter medicine, academia and corporate medicine, mobile, and wellness-only practices. Dr. Miller has recently become a huge collaborator and contributor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Vet Med. She has always possessed a love for pets and animals alike but has recently ignited a deep passion for success of the next generation of black and brown veterinarians and increasing the percentages of people of color in the profession. In addition to this, her goal is to work to provide access to quality veterinary medical care for marginalized and low socioeconomic communities. Dr. Miller hopes to combine these passions and achieve these goals through future career, networking, and entrepreneurship opportunities. Doing what is right is important, anything worth having is worth working for (smart, not hard of course), and the joy comes in sharing your success with others!

Dr. Pamela Martin
Dr. Pamela Martin, grew up in Denver, Colorado and received her BS in Animal Science from Tuskegee University and DVM from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) in 2001.  She completed a 1-year rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at TUCVM in 2002, and following internship, Dr. Martin was an associate veterinarian at Beltsville Animal Hospital in Beltsville, Maryland. Dr. Martin entered a Small Animal Internal Medicine Residency and pursued graduate studies at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and completed residency in 2007.

Dr. Martin was on faculty at TUCVM from 2007 to 2022, served as the Small Animal Internal Medicine service chief (2015-2022) and served as the SA Clinical Sciences Department Chair from 2018 to 2022. Dr. Martin joined Thrive Pet Healthcare at South Atlanta Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center in Fayetteville, Georgia in 2022. Dr. Martin’s areas of research and special interest include hematology, canine and feline vector-borne diseases, immunology, and cardiology. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, pets and playing tennis, reading and doing puzzles and word games in her spare time.
Dr. Gay Smith-Pike

Dr. Gay Smith-Pike is a proud 1999 Alum of the Tuskegee University, College of Veterinary Medicine. She has dedicated over 20+ years of her career to taking the best care of pets & people, practicing primarily within small animal medicine. She is a certified AVMA Wellbeing Educator & Presenter, a certified Frank Communication Training Facilitator, a certified Adult Mental Health First Aid Provider & a certified QPR Institute Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper.

Additionally, Dr. Smith-Pike has held numerous clinical roles in both private small animal practice & multi-unit Veterinary Medical and operational Leadership positions throughout her career.  She currently holds the role of Regional Veterinary Director for the entire Eastern U.S. Region within Destination Pet LLC.

She is most passionate about supporting total well-being within our beloved profession so that people & pets are empowered to truly thrive, and not just survive, within veterinary medicine.


Dr. Tierra Price is a recent graduate of Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, where she served as Vice President of her class and President of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative. She Is currently an emergency veterinarian, but has a wide variety of veterinary interests including shelter medicine, surgery, and public health. As a veterinary student, Dr. Price founded BlackDVM Network, a community that elevates Black veterinary professionals through providing community and access to growth, achievement and advancing in veterinary medicine. Dr. Price’s commitment to elevating Black veterinary professionals is directly related to her desire for a healthy, happy and successful career in the profession. In her free time, she loves dancing, yoga, reading and soaking up the sun. Most importantly, Dr. Price believes we should be able to show up as our entire selves in our career. She hopes to inspire others with her drive, authenticity and confidence to boldly take on challenges in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Raye Taylor

Dr. Raye Taylor is a Red Lake Nation descendant and is the first in her family to go to college. She has worked with many animals from insects to birds and fish; however, she has spent most of her career working with dogs, cats, and horses. For education, Dr. Taylor has degrees from Iowa State University in Animal Ecology/Zoology and Microbiology, then left her PhD track to attend veterinary school at St. George’s University. She has certificates from University of Minnesota (Veterinary Medicine), and Cornell University (Leadership); and carries certifications in the Human-Animal Bond and Hospice and Palliative Care. With years in general practice, regulation, and teaching, she has always maintained a relationship with community work. This has extended from mentorship and leadership at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine; in veterinary clinics, on mobile services, and at the racetrack. She met CARE while volunteering with a student-led community service group, where primarily her focus has been to collaborate with indigenous communities and student mentorship. Her mantras are partnership with pet parents and empowerment through knowledge.

“CARE creates creative and inspiring opportunities to repair a broken system and broken hearts. I am excited to witness and facilitate the magic of empowerment through knowledge in our culture keepers, change makers, animal families, and community members & leaders. The way to repair the power dynamic is to give it to the people–and advancing that with CARE is going to be an honor.”

– Dr. Raye Taylor

Community Animal CARE Advisory Committee

The Community Animal CARE (CAC) advisory board’s main role is to support the CAC division at CARE by providing valuable insights and perspectives gleaned from the committee’s expertise in the Human and Animal Well-Being field, including programs, partners, and policies. This includes providing insights to CAC leadership in an effort to help create and sustain the effectiveness of the CAC program across the country.

Ed Jamison, Chairperson

Ed Jamison

Ed is currently the President of Texas Unites for Animals, Vice President of the National Animal Care & Control Association, and Board Member for the Association of Animal Welfare Advancement and Shelter Animals Count. His main role as the Chair of the CAC Advisory Board will be to support the CAC department at CARE by providing insights from the Human and Animal well-being field to create and sustain the effectiveness of the CAC program across the country. He will be responsible for building the rest of the CAC Advisory Board and ensuring a focus on community-driven and led workforce is considered throughout the council’s discussions to ensure sustainability.

Ed Jamison serves as CEO of Operation Kindness, a lifesaving non-profit animal welfare organization based in Texas. Under his leadership since March 2021, Ed guides the organization to administer innovative programs impacting dogs and cats across the region, including community initiatives, shelter partnerships, interstate transport, forensics for animal cruelty, and more. Ed also leads the lifesaving work at the Operation Kindness shelter, which includes a medical wing, neonatal kitten nursery, and pet food pantry, located in Carrollton, TX.

 Previously, Ed served as the Director of Dallas Animal Services (DAS). When he joined DAS in 2017, the animal situation in Dallas was the center of public scrutiny. Ed was tasked with increasing public safety by getting loose animals off the streets, while also increasing positive outcomes. The “Dallas 90” campaign was designed to help create a community where all people and animals are safe, treated with respect, and have access to the resources needed to thrive. With a dog and cat intake of over 39,000 in 2019, Dallas had the 3rd highest intake in the nation. 

With an extensive background working in the animal welfare field beginning in the early 2000s, Ed worked in Cleveland, Ohio, before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In the position of Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Cleveland, Jamison pushed to redefine functionality and public perception of animal control. The award-winning, trademarked CITY DOGs Cleveland Adoption and Volunteer programs continue to be flourishing programs copied throughout the country.






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