For his extensive service to police and service dogs, his pioneering vision for the development of the Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference, and his unwavering support of the missions of the College of Veterinary Medicine, we are pleased to recognize Dr. Ira Niedweske as a 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Ira Niedweske completed his DVM (1977) and MS (1977) at The Ohio State University. Throughout his career, Ira has been an indefatigable advocate for police dogs. His volunteer service work began with an association with his local sheriff’s office in Hudson County, New Jersey and expanded to consultation with a number of units across the east coast, teaching first aid to police dog handlers, and providing veterinary services for the US National Police Dog Team. Ira also has a special program for dogs that are under the care of the K-9 Warriors Project.
Two days after the events of September 11, 2001, Ira drove a fully loaded van with hospital equipment to lower Manhattan to provide veterinary care for animals impacted by the destruction. He was assigned to examine and assess police dogs from a number of states – treating a range of injuries to these canine police officers.
Ira has a long history of mentoring young veterinarians in his practices. He takes a very hands-on approach to ensure that these associates grow professionally and learn as much as they can about the medical, surgical, and business aspects of veterinary practice. Ira is particularly skilled in surgery and excited about the mentoring of young associates in the art of surgery, especially orthopedic procedures. He pushes them to their full potential by offering and providing high-quality veterinary care. His motto has been that “the financial reward will follow the practice of great medicine”.
Ira was a visionary pioneer during the formative years of the Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference, where he spent 11 years as a member of the leadership team. During this time, he focused on the identification and recruitment of excellent speakers – including the encouragement of emerging young talent.
In small ways and large ways, Ira has been highly supportive of the education and teaching missions of the College of Veterinary Medicine over his career. His primary focus has been in areas of clinical research that support the training of residents – especially those areas unlikely to receive extramural grant funding. In addition, Ira and his wife Jill have served on our advancement advisory committee helping shape the future of our college through their insights and support.