Position Statements

Veterinary Professional Associate Position

The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement believes that every pet deserves veterinary care. We are acutely aware that we face a far-reaching and long-term shortage in the veterinary workforce. Unprecedented challenges faced by the veterinary profession have exacerbated inequities in accessing veterinary care.

We strongly support the creation of a master’s degree Veterinary Professional Associate (VPA) similar to physician assistants in human medicine. We believe that mid-level practitioners will extend the work of veterinarians to improve healthcare for the whole family and will preserve the human-animal bond.

We encourage policymakers to increase access to veterinary care through innovative veterinary workforce solutions.

Telemedicine and Access to Care

The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement recognizes the need to make veterinary care available to all animals and we believe telemedicine to be a useful tool in facilitating access to veterinary care.

We encourage states and other jurisdictions to create regulations that empower veterinary professionals to legally provide telemedicine services when their professional judgment deems it an appropriate care-delivery method.

Further, veterinary professionals should be legally empowered to establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) through electronic means without the need for in-person interaction with the pet or the client.