Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez of Willamette Valley Animal Hospital was recently honored as the state’s Veterinary Staff Person of the Year

The award came from the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association at a ceremony in Corvallis.

Lopez, who has worked at the practice more than 13 years, is a certified technician and dental technician.

One reason he received the award was his work with Community Homeless Connect, a project bringing together the homeless and a variety of outreach and community services. After learning of a homeless person’s suicide – and their dog being subsequently impounded – he started working on a partnership delivering free veterinary care at parks throughout the Salem area. He also convinced county officials to provide free dog licenses to vaccinated dogs so that pets of the homeless would not be impounded.

Lopez has also organized fundraisers for other Willamette Valley nonprofit cat and dog shelters and organizations, resulting in more than $15,000 for the non-profits.

Fluent in Spanish, Lopez is a regular guest on area radio shows, educating listeners about pet medical issues.