THE PAW PROJECT TEAM
Jennifer Conrad, DVM – Founder and Director
Jim Jensvold – Assistant Director
Kirk Wendelburg, DVM – Chief of Surgery, Animal Specialty Group
Jean Hofve, DVM – Veterinary Science and Research Consultant
Aubrey Lavizzo, DVM – Colorado State Director
Karen Woodward – Social Media
Michelle Naden – Digital Marketing
Jerry Gillaspie – Programmer
Bob Hershon – Animation and Video Editing
Jan Northrop – Video Producer
Lisbet Thoresen – Designer and Web Architecture
About Jennifer Conrad, DVM, Director
Dr. Jennifer Conrad has cared for wildlife on six continents for over two decades. She is an impassioned advocate for animal welfare, who has seen first-hand the suffering and exploitation of animals, destruction of habitat, and gratuitous hunting—all of which threaten the welfare and very survival of many species. Dr. Conrad has participated in many programs to protect and improve the lives of wild animals. She has traveled to Namibia to de-horn rhinos, making them unattractive targets for slaughter by poachers who prize the horns for ornamental uses. While in Africa, she worked with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, collecting information to help fortify the dwindling numbers of this species. In Nepal, Dr. Conrad treated endangered Asian elephants, and in the Galapagos Islands, she joined government scientists treating a threatened population of sea lions.
Dr. Conrad is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine and is a member of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV), and the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV).
Currently, Dr. Conrad's professional responsibilities are divided between working with nonprofit wildlife sanctuaries for unwanted and abused animals in southern California and administering her own company, Vet to the (Real) Stars, which provides humane veterinary care to animals appearing in television and movies. Some of her animal actors have appeared in The Life of Pi, Transformers II, The Hangover, Zoo Keeper, Doctor Doolittle 2 and The Planet of the Apes.
In her former role as head veterinarian at a wildlife sanctuary, Dr. Conrad founded The Paw Project, which rehabilitates big cats, such as lions, tigers, cougars and jaguars maimed by declawing. Actually an amputation of the last bone in the cat's toe, declawing often cripples these magnificent creatures, both from the pain caused by the bone fragments left behind, and from the progressively debilitating arthritis produced by abnormal stress on other joints as the cats try to avoid walking on their painful, amputated toes.
About Aubrey Lavizzo, DVM, Colorado State Director
Dr. Aubrey Lavizzo recently retired from private practice in Denver, his home for over 40 years. He is a member of the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Lavizzo also serves on the faculty of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences.
Dr. Lavizzo joined Dr. Conrad in her efforts to end declawing when he allowed himself to see the harsh reality of the cruelty he himself had committed for many year by declawing cats. The cutting realization awakened in him the courage to speak out against cruelty of all kinds wherever it occurs, and specifically declawing. His efforts now are particularly focused on establishing Colorado as the first state in the US to ban declawing."
Dr. Aubrey Lavizzo has been recognized in the profession for his mentorship and work in leadership and interpersonal skills development among veterinary students and recent grads through his role on the board of the Veterinary Leadership Institute's Veterinary Leadership Experience. His service to the Denver and greater Colorado community is well known through his development of the Home Outreach program of PetAid Colorado and his service on the board of philanthropic animal welfare organization, the Animal Assistance Foundation.
In 2011, Aubrey was honored by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association as the Colorado Veterinarian of the Year.