AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award to Amy Shojai


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When I was informed that Amy Shojai was to be first recipient, after me, of the AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award I was so very excited. For one thing, it’s been years since I’ve seen my old friend, and I was asked to help to present the award to her, so I knew I would be seeing her. Also, I happen to know just how deserving she is. The details are in her bio below, but at the end of the day this multi-talented personality has done so much to continue to advance knowledge of pet care to the public, and as a former vet tech is more than a bit adept at translating “veterinary-ese” accurately.  Also, she continues her good work to this day.  AVMA President Elect Dr. Rena Carlson and myself presented the award to Amy.

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) July 15, 2023—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today named author Amy Shojai as the winner of the 2023 AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award.

The award was established in 2022 by the AVMA to honor the achievements of an individual who has contributed to the positive visibility of the veterinary profession by raising public awareness of the important and diverse roles veterinarians play in every facet of the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment. The award is named for Steve Dale, a longtime author and broadcaster who was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2022.

“Amy’s tireless efforts in communicating accessible, engaging and informative resources about pet care and behavior have helped countless pet owners care for and connect with their animal companions,” said Dr. Teller, president of the AVMA. “Her work epitomizes the spirit of the Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award, and it’s an honor to recognize her contributions to companion animal education and advocacy.”

Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant who began her career as a veterinary technician, has written more than 35 books and 4,000 articles and columns on training, behavior, veterinary care and the health benefits of cats and dogs. She is the affiliate Pet Editor for the ReadersDigest.com group, and has written for MarthaStewartLiving.com, Chewy.com, DailyPaws.com, FearFreePets.com, HillsPets.com and AdamsPetCare.com, and has contributed to the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Woman’s World and many other leading periodicals.

She has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN, and regularly appears on national radio and television in connection with her writing. Perhaps most memorably, she represented the “cat side” and won a nationally televised tongue-in-cheek debate (NBC Today Show, Fox, CNN and others) arguing whether cats or dogs are the more appropriate White House pets.

Shojai wrote a weekly award-winning P’ETiQuette newspaper column and hosted the half hour radio Pet Peeves radio podcast. She appeared in a twice monthly Pet Talk feature at KXII-TV in Texas for nearly 20 years, produces the Ask Amy pet care video series on YouTube and appears as a pet expert on Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101.

In 1992, Shojai co-founded the international Cat Writers’ Association to improve the quality of feline-related information available to the public. She is a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a Fear Free Certified Trainer and a longtime member of the Dog Writers Association of America. She’s also a past president and honorary lifetime member of the Oklahoma Writers Federation, and a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers. She has won dozens of awards for her books and other writing, including the Friskies Writer of the Year Award, the Texas VMA Mark Francis Award for Journalistic Excellence, and the Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award because it validates my body of work and shines a light on what I do to help pets,” said Shojai. “But also because it celebrates my heroes—veterinarians who shared their passion with me over the years.”

To view Shojai’s acceptance video, click here or visit https://vimeo.com/843304024/2056d15e94.

To learn more about the AVMA Steve Dale Excellence in Veterinary Media Award., visit www.avma.org/awards.