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Working Like Dogs on Pet Life RadioMarcie Davis, host of Working Like Dogs

Marcie Davis
Assistance Dog Expert
Award-winning Writer

How Can We Help Our Working Dogs End Life Well?

Dr. Alice Villalobos on Pet Life Radio..........

Dr. Alice Villalobos ....................... ...


Yep, this is the hard conversation that we’ve all been avoiding. No one likes to talk about losing our beloved working dogs, but we all will have to face it sooner or later. Listen in as Marcie and Whistle talk with Dr. Alice Villalobos, Director of Pawspice and the Animal Oncology Consultation Service, about how to ensure our working dogs have a kind and gentle end to their lives. Dr. Villalobos talks about her ground-breaking Quality of Life Scale that will help you to ensure your dog has a dignified death. Marcie and Dr. Villalobos will help you to consider better end-of-life choices for your working dog.   

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Dr. Alice Villalobos is author of the textbook, Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond, by Blackwell Publishing. It is one of the rare text books that made the AMAZON top 1,000 list. She is a well-known pioneer in the field of cancer care for companion animals, a founding member of the Veterinary Cancer Society. She is the national spokesperson for Pet Cancer Awareness Month and consulting oncologist for DogTalk and CatChat Radio. She served as President of the American Association of Human Animal Bond Veterinarians (AAHABV) in 2005-6. She is Director of Animal Oncology Consultation Service in Woodland Hills and Dana Point. With her partner, Carreen Schuller, R.V.T., Villalobos recently opened two Pawspice (pet hospice) referral clinics in Hermosa Beach and Norwalk, CA.

Villalobos received her doctorate from UC Davis in 1972 after completing the first mock residency program in oncology under the mentorship of Dr. Gordon Theilen, who isolated the 3 subtypes of the Feline Leukemia Virus, discovered the Feline Sarcoma Virus, and edited/authored Veterinary Cancer Medicine, the first reference textbooks in veterinary oncology. In 1974, she founded Coast Pet Clinic/Animal Cancer Center of Hermosa Beach Inc. Her visionary practice was the first multidisciplinary private oncology and radiation therapy referral service in the USA. VCA acquired the practice in 2003.

Over the past 35 years, Villalobos served the profession by consulting, writing and lecturing in the rapidly growing field of veterinary oncology. She authored the column, Oncology Outlook, for Veterinary Practice News from 1999 to 2004 and currently authors the column, The Bond and Beyond.

At the 2002 AVMA Meeting, she introduced “Pawspice” an end of life pet hospice care program, which prioritizes comfort care and immunonutrition for terminal pets. In 2004, Villalobos introduced the “HHHHHMM” Quality of Life chart. It is used across the country to help hospital staff and pet caregivers with decision making regarding quality of life evaluations and when to make the final call for euthanasia.

Villalobos was awarded the UCD Alumni Achievement Award in 1994 “for her pioneering role introducing oncology to the companion animal community.” She received the Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award in 1999 for her work in emphasizing the Human-Animal Bond in her oncology practices and rescue work. Villalobos is Editor-in-Chief of the AAHABV Newsletter, Secretary of the Animal Health Foundation and on the Board of Directors for the LA Pet Memorial Park. She is also the Founder and Chairman of the Board for the Peter Zippi Memorial Fund for Animals, which has cared for, and placed over 11,300 homeless animals since 1977.


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