2014 UTAH VETERINARIAN OF THE YEAR
Dr. Warren J. Hess
Warren J. Hess was born in Sault (Sue) St. Marie, Michigan, with a love for animals encoded in his amiable personality. His growing up years were filled with stories of a collection of snails (while living in Germany), pet turtles and birds, and his closest childhood companion: Ginger, his pet beagle. After graduating from Bountiful High School, he served an LDS Mission to Guatemala. He then attended both the University of Utah and BYU prior to completing his DVM at Colorado State University.
After working as an associate veterinarian for a few years, Dr. Hess traveled to Ohio to purchase Utah’s first small animal Mobile Veterinary Clinic. He worked hard for several years to build up a new practice, offering small animal veterinary care to many who had trouble getting their animals into a traditional veterinary setting: the elderly and those with mobility limiting handicaps. Then in October of 1996, a leak developed in one of the gas lines in the clinic. An explosion followed while Dr. Hess was inside the clinic. Dr. Hess spent the next 18-24 months recovering from third degree burns and multiple skin grafts. Thanks to the prayers of many, he was able to regain the use of his arms & hands and return to the veterinary profession that he loves. He gradually returned to full-time work as an associate at the Lakeview Animal Hospital in Bountiful.
In 2004, Dr. Hess joined the Utah Department of Agriculture as a field veterinarian. Then, in 2009 he became the Assistant State Veterinarian.
During his years with the Dept. of Agriculture, he has been instrumental in the formation of the Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition (UEARC), where he served as president for the first four formative years of that organization. He has continued to be an active participant as a board member and treasurer of UEARC for the past three years.
He also went on to serve as President-elect and then President of the National Alliance of State Animal and Agriculture Emergency Programs. Dr. Hess orchestrated the first national meeting of NASAAEP in Virginia, assisted in the formation of the organization, and was a key player in attaining funding for the organization.
Dr. Hess is a certified trainer for the Extension Service for the S-CAP Strengthening Community Agro-Security Planning and has provided numerous counties in Utah with critical animal and agriculture emergency planning expertise. Additionally, he is a CERT Community Emergency Response Team trainer for animal behavioral modules and is involved training CERT team members statewide.
Additionally, Dr. Hess has been integral in developing the new state electronic health certificate and brand inspection programs.
He is a past president of the UVMA and has been an active UVMA board member for several years as Chairman of the UVMA Disaster Committee.
For fun, Dr. Hess enjoys the outdoors, riding his motorcycle, and caring for his horses, dogs & aquarium fish. He lives in Kaysville with his wife. They have five grown children and eight grandchildren, all of whom love animals thanks to the influence of their grandpa.