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Local People

Behind every beloved pet is a dedicated veterinarian or veterinary nurse, working to keep our best friends healthy.

Heather Czerpak or McMurray has been selected as a finalist for the American Hero Veterinary Nurse Award.

To honor these vital and tireless professionals, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, is pleased to announce that voting is now open in the seventh annual American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™, sponsored by Zoetis Petcare.

Following the review of more than 250 nominations from animal lovers across the country, a blue-ribbon judging panel of veterinary professionals and animal care experts has selected 10 of the country’s top veterinarians and veterinary nurses as finalists. Pet owners and animal lovers alike are invited to visit every day between now and August 13 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time to vote for 2020’s top American Hero Veterinarian and American Hero Veterinary Nurse.

The winners will be honored at the 10th annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, which will air nationwide as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.

“Animals are often heroes to us, and we need to honor and recognize those who are heroes to them,” said Robin Ganzert, Ph.D., president and CEO of American Humane. “These dedicated professionals work behind the scenes to keep our best friends happy and healthy, and for that we thank them.”

Heather Czerpak of McMurray is an American Hero Veterinary Nurse finalist. Below is a nomination essay written by one of Heather’s supporters:

“Heather is the kind of veterinary nurse everyone in the field should strive to become. She is a certified veterinary technician (CVT) and a VTS in ECC. She never lets her patients down and is a constant voice for them. She is always striving to better herself and everyone around her, so that they may become the best that they can be. Heather travels to local general practice hospitals to provide continuing education and teach RECOVER CPR to everyone there, and regularly holds continuing education talks at our hospital. When I think of a hero in the field, it's always Heather. She is a training mentor and is always pushing others to strive to be better. If there is something someone doesn't know, Heather is always willing to help them understand without judgment. She makes learning fun and brings life back into her coworkers after long and hard shifts. To me and many others, Heather truly is a hero, not only for her patients but for her coworkers, as well.”

To read each of the finalists’ stories, as told by the people who nominated them, and to vote daily for one of the five finalists in each of the American Hero Veterinarian and American Hero Veterinary Nurse categories, please visit




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