Center for Animals and Public Policy Names New Director

Dr. Allen Rutberg named Director, Dr. Emily McCobb will be Assistant Director

GRAFTON, Mass. — Allen T. Rutberg, Ph.D., whose work over the past three years expanded the distinctive Center for Animals and Public Policy, has been named its permanent director, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine announced today. The school has also appointed Emily McCobb, D.V.M., M.S., D.A.C.V.A. as the center’s assistant director. Both had served in leadership roles in the center since a reorganization in 2009.

Previously serving as associate center director for education, Dr. Rutberg helped guide the center to a three-track structure focusing on: Animals in the Environment, which he heads; Animals in Community, led by Dr. McCobb; and Animals in Research, which examines the reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in laboratory settings. The school’s Master of Science in Laboratory Animal Medicine degree program is also housed in the research track.

“The work of the Center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked, and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships,” said Deborah T. Kochevar, DVM, Ph.D., dean of the Cummings School and interim director of the center since 2009. “Through his research and teaching, Dr. Rutberg exemplifies these sentiments and takes on the leadership of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at a time when these studies are increasingly important.”

Dr. Rutberg has long-managed the center’s Master in Animals and Public Policy degree program and recently established an Animal Welfare, Ethics and Policy Signature Opportunity in the Cummings School’s professional D.V.M. curriculum. He also helped establish the center’s Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence Fund, which supports students, staff and faculty engaged in active citizenship projects.

Dr. Rutberg’s expertise includes investigation of deer and wild horse immunocontraception, suburban deer controversies and population management, wild horse management and social organization of hooved animals.

In addition to her new position as assistant director of the center, Dr. McCobb also directs the Cummings School’s newly established Shelter Medicine program. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiology, Dr. McCobb has published research on shelter medicine, feral cats and pain management and stress reduction for confined animals.

The Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) was founded in 1983 at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, focused on scholarly evaluation and understanding of the societal issues and public policy dimensions of the changing role and impact of animals in society.  

 About the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and two clinics that combined log more than 80,000 animal cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health. 

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