Dedicated Passion

Dr. Bernadine Cruz  on Pet Life Radio

According to Webster’s dictionary, passion has several definitions.  The more common is ‘a powerful or compelling emotion or feeling such as love or hate’.  One less used but sums up a veterinarian’s passion for his or her chosen field is ‘the state of being affected by something external, especially something alien to one’s nature or one’s customary behavior.  It has to be passion, why else would a sane human being place themselves in harm’s way from hooves, claws, teeth, beaks, inordinately long days, communicable diseases that can kill, field work and research that can take you away from your family for months at a time and all for benefit of others who rarely say thank you?  Why?  Because veterinary medicine is one of the most fabulous vocations one could ever be a part of.

My guest is Dr. Joe Kinnarney.  He is the 2015-2016 president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  We are going to chat about your passion for your pets and the role  veterinarians play insuring the health of people, animals and the world. 


Dr. Joseph H. Kinnarney is a mixed animal practitioner in Reidsville, N.C. and president of the Reidsville Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Kinnarney has been a North Carolina resident since he graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. He served as the District lll representative on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Executive Board from 2007-2013 representing veterinarians in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Dr. Kinnarney's interest in taking a leadership role in his profession started while he was studying at Cornell. He was the president of the Cornell Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) chapter and president of the national SAVMA. During his time as the national SAVMA president (1979-1980), SAVMA didn't have a vote on the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD). During his service as North Carolina's alternative delegate on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) House of Delegates (HOD) from 1990-1999, he worked to help secure a HOD vote for SAVMA.

In 1999, Dr. Kinnarney began serving the first of two terms as AVMA vice president during which time he served as a liaison with veterinary students and recent graduates. He has also served as vice president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association from 2001-2007, and was 1991 North Carolina Veterinarian of the Year. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Kinnarney served as North Carolina's delegate to the AVMA HOD. He was named North Carolina distinguished veterinarian in 2006.

Dr. Kinnarney's love of animals is not restricted to his work as a veterinarian or in service to the AVMA. He has also made headlines for his other interests, which include raising and showing purebred Arabian horses, purebred miniature schnauzers and Scottish terriers. In 1995, a Scottish terrier Dr. Kinnarney co-owned won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Dr. Kinnarney is also active in his local Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, the Annie Penn Memorial Hospital and church. Dr. Kinnarney has two sons, Joseph William and Jeffrey Patrick.