American Humane Announces Winners of Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards

This is the 9th Annual American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards

American Humane, America’s premier humanitarian organization, announced in an organizational statement,1 the winners of the 9th Annual American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards, presented by Zoetis. Selected from a pool of over 500 nominees and a combination of public votes and a jury of veterinary professionals and animal care experts, Raquel Fagan, DVM, is the 2022 American Vet Hero and Cheri Herschell, CVT, is the American veterinary nurse Hero.

Raquel Fagan, DVM, has owned Shamrock Animal Hospital in Mount Dora, Florida since 2016 after original owners Greg and Donna Shamrock sold the practice to her. Fagan attended the University of Florida’s veterinary medicine class in 1993.2 According to the release, Fagan and his team pursued a simple mission: do great work, have fun and give back.

Since 2019, Fagan has also served as the medical director of Patriot Service Dogs, a nonprofit that trains service dogs for veterans. By donating time and resources, as well as generous donations of products and services from partners in the veterinary industry, Fagan provides all vaccination, heartworm prevention, and neutering services at no cost to PSD. . PSD completes a significant portion of training at Florida’s largest women’s prison. The WOOF program allows incarcerated women to work with dogs and train them. Several times throughout the year, Fagan visits the prison to perform wellness checks and vaccinations for dogs in training. She also educates inmate trainers on a wide range of canine health topics and shares opportunities they may have in animal health after release.1

Cheri Herschell, CVT, is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently contributes to Crisis Center North and its PAWS for Empowerment program. According to the statement, she trains SCC staff in appropriate interactions with working dogs and certifies teams of handlers who work directly with clients in counseling and forensic work. Her medical expertise as a veterinary technician is invaluable in creating guidelines for working dogs, ensuring they are in good mental and physical health. As a canine intervention specialist at CCN, Herschell attends trial court as an attorney with Canine Advocate, Rune. She also develops and delivers presentations for veterinary staff and students on the intersectionality of human and animal abuse.1

Herschell’s 15 years of experience as a veterinary technician allows her to connect with a community that plays an invaluable role in keeping victims and their pets safe. She has reached over 600 veterinary professionals with a tiered program designed to help veterinarians recognize their role as advocates in the fight against domestic violence.1

“The world’s animals depend on veterinarians and veterinary nurses, and we are honored to recognize their achievements in saving lives, conducting groundbreaking research, and working on the front lines for animals in their communities,” said Robin Ganzert, PhD, CEO. of American Humane, in the press release. “Dr. Fagan and Ms. Herschell are incredible animal welfare advocates, and we are thrilled to award them the title of 2022 American Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse. Special thanks to our friends at Zoetis for sponsoring this campaign National and helping us celebrate the human heroes behind our pets.1

“Zoetis continues to find ways to support the dedicated American veterinary community, and the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards are our way of thanking these dedicated individuals,” said Tara Bidgood, DVM, PhD, DACVCP, executive director of veterinary professional services. & Medical Affairs for US Petcare, Zoetis, in the release. “We are honored to recognize the veterinarians and veterinary nurses who are leading the effort to keep animals, and the bond they share with their people, strong and healthy.”1

Fagan and Herschel will be recognized at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards gala on November 11 in Palm Beach, Florida.


  1. From Heroes to America’s Pets: Meet the winners of the 2022 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards, presented by Zoetis. Press release. American humanitarian. Published October 24, 2022. Accessed November 1, 2022.
  2. Shamrock Animal Hospital. Accessed November 1, 2022.