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In Honor of Black History Month

This Black History Month, Dorchester Paws would like to recognize some of the many pillars of history that have made great impacts in the veterinary world, with practices that are still saving lives today.

Dr. Frederick Douglass Patterson, Dr. Augustus Lushington, Dr. Alfreda Johnson Webb, Dr. Jane Hinton and Dr. Lloyd B. Mobiley are just a few veterinarians whose work allows Dorchester Paws to help the thousand of animals that come into our care each year. As a result of their passion for animals and dedication to wanting to make a difference, animals each day are given the life-saving medical treatments they need across the world.

Just today alone, if it wasn’t for Dr. Lloyd B. Mobiley, Blake, a dog who came to Dorchester Paws suffering from a pelvic fracture due to a gunshot wound to his body, would not be alive. Dr. Lloyd B. Mobiley, introduced the intramedullary pin along with other orthopedic surgical devices that are used to repair long bone fractures, which is a very common medical procedure performed in our veterinarian, on many animals, on a weekly basis.

These are few of the many impactful people throughout history who have added so much to the veterinary field. Black History is American History and Dorchester Paws appreciates and recognizes their contributions. The animals of Dorchester Paws, thank you.

Here is more information on each of these pioneers:
Dr. Frederick Douglass Patterson was born in the same neighborhood as abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass. Dr. Patterson earned his DVM and master’s degrees from Iowa State College in 1923 and by age 31 completed his PhD at Cornell University. He went on to serve as president of the Tuskegee Institute and oversaw the school’s transformation to Tuskegee University. He became the founding dean of the Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine in 1944, the same year he founded the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

In the United States, the man believed to be the first Black veterinary school graduate to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree was Dr. Augustus Lushington. Born in Trinidad in 1869, Dr. Lushington moved to New York in 1889 for agriculture and pre-medicine studies. He then earned his DVM degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1897. Afterward, he established a veterinary practice in Pennsylvania and two years later, began a teaching career at Bell Mead Industrial and Agricultural College in Rock Castle, Va., where he later opened another veterinary practice treating primarily farm animals.

Dr. Lloyd B. Mobiley served as an officer in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in World War II and also worked in the Federal Meat Inspection Service. After returning home, he was appointed as head of the Department of Anatomy and Surgery at the Tuskegee Institute, where he introduced the intramedullary pin along with other orthopedic surgical devices used to repair long bone fractures. Many of these devices are still used by veterinarians for surgeries today.

Dr. Alfreda Johnson Webb and Dr. Jane Hinton were the first Black women to earn DVM degrees in the United States. Dr. Johnson Webb graduated from the Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine in 1949 and also was the first Black female licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the U.S.  She remained at Tuskegee teaching anatomy as an associate professor before becoming a biology professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She also was a member of the planning committee that founded North Carolina State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, she served as a legislator becoming the first Black woman in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Dr. Hinton earned her DVM degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1949, the same year as Dr. Johnson Webb. Prior to attending veterinary school, Dr. Hinton worked in a Harvard laboratory where she co-developed what is now one of the standard methods to test bacterial resistance in antibiotics. After graduating with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Dr. Hinton worked as a small animal veterinarian in Canton, Mass., and later joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a government inspector on a team tasked with researching and responding to disease outbreaks in livestock.