Member Profile: Dr. Lowell Novy
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Member Profile - Dr. Lowell Novy
March 9, 2008 was another special day for Dr. Lowell Novy
at Valley Veterinary Clinic
in Simi Valley, CA. Days of planning, organizing, and scheduling, and hours of phone calls by volunteers finally came to fruition: 25 individuals from the clinic conducted a joint spay/neuter day in which 110 cats were spayed or neutered.
For Dr. Novy, founder of Valley Veterinary Clinic, that day was part of his long range goal of reducing animal overpopulation and needless euthanasias.
During the last 12 years he
has regularly scheduled free and low-cost spay and neuter clinics.
Over 15,000 cats and dogs have been altered through his
program since 1997.
Simi Valley's rate for euthanasia of unwanted cats and dogs in 1998 was 16.7 per 1,000 population; today it has been lowered to 1.7 per 1,000.
Additionally, in 1997, four large feral cat colonies were located in Simi Valley.
As a result of Dr. Novy's
trap, spay/neuter and return program for ferals, all of the feral colonies have disappeared due to natural attrition over the last 11 years, and the feral cat kill rate from Simi Valley has been reduced by 85 percent.
In order for a successful, sustained, significant reduction of unwanted cats and dogs, according to Dr. Novy
, an organization must be formed with these three essential constituencies: 1) a strong volunteer base; 2) a veterinary facility, veterinarians and a qualified staff; and 3) committed political officials and a group of citizens that will help to raise funds.
Up until 2001, all spay day costs not covered by grants were borne by Dr. Novy
Due to the large financial burden, a non-profit corporation was formed in 2001, the Valley Veterinary Clinic Charitable Non-Profit Corporation (VVCCNC).
Diane Bentz, RVT, proposed the large-scale, no-cost/low-cost spay/neuter days to Dr. Novy in 1996 and has been the administrator of the program ever since.
has also been assisted by other veterinarians, veterinary technicians, kennel attendants and clerical staff.
grew up on the western Kansas prairie in the 1940s and '50s, where he
enjoyed raising and releasing wild critters - ducks, pheasants, rabbits, opossums, badgers, and crows - that local ranchers and farmers brought to him.
In college he
started out as a pre-med student, but switched to pre-veterinarian studies when he
saw it was a better fit.
He graduated in 1960 from Kansas State University with his DVM.
Dr. Novy joined the CVMA in 1965.
In 1970 he
designed and opened the Valley Veterinary Clinic
He is a member of the Santa Barbara-Ventura VMA and a life member of the CVMA.
Today Dr. Novy works in his
practice for two weeks and then spends two weeks on his
"In my spare time I assist other veterinarians in starting their community spay/neuter programs," Dr. Novy
"I plan to keep this schedule for another eight years - then I will be 80.
"The last 12 years and hopefully the next eight, I have assisted and will be actively assisting the reduction of the overproduced, unwanted pets that are so frequently euthanized in California," says Dr. Novy
, who has helped other veterinarians establish spay/neuter programs in Oxnard, Santa Maria, Yreka and Stockton.
"We feel that by using a step-by-step approach, most communities can launch an equally successful spay/neuter campaign," says Dr. Novy