Dr. Schang and his dog Maple

Because we care.

In this, my first message as Director, I will attempt to express in words why we do what we do. Why would a group of researchers, trainees, and other staff work tirelessly and diligently trying to find answers to new and difficult questions? Why would we wake up every morning with the desire and excitement of another day at the Institute?

Because we care.

Because we care about the dogs, horses, cats, and other companion animals that we all love so much. Granted, we thrive on challenge; we anxiously examine every new piece of information looking for that unexpected discovery. We love the search for the unknown, that unexpected finding that may happen any time we do the precise experiment that was needed. But we do not do it with the expectation of publishing another paper, or earning another grant or other funding. We do not do it for the occasional professional recognition or public accolade.

We do it because we are firmly convinced that it is for, and to the benefit of, our beloved animals. We do it with the expectation that perhaps, just perhaps, one of our discoveries that comes after so many years of hard work, will have a positive impact on them. We do it because we know that if we do not understand what is affecting them, then whatever it is cannot be cured or managed. We do it because we know that knowledge is critical for new cures, preventions, or at least managements that improve their quality of life.

We know well that knowledge in itself is not sufficient. Knowledge has to find its application and be developed into a product, approach, or management practice to have an impact. That’s why we do not stop at publishing papers or presenting our findings to other researchers, veterinarians, or anybody else. We strive to apply our discoveries to solve problems. We search for problems that may benefit from knowledge we already have. We work hard converting discoveries into leads and leads into products that positively impact the lives of animals and, on occasion, humans.

We only need to look at the history of the Institute to be convinced of the value in our approach to pursue the discovery, searching for the unknown, while keeping a close eye on its potential applications. We will continue on this path without doubt or hesitation. We will continue working hard, excited for the unexpected discovery, guided by our conviction that our work will continue to help all animals. But we cannot do it without your help and support. Only together can we convert our mission into reality, benefiting the companion animals we all love so much.

We and our cherished animals are extremely grateful for your support. And I hope that when someone asks why you are part of, and support, the Baker Institute for Animal Health, you will feel like answering:

“Because we care.”

Thank you,

Luis M. Schang, MV, PhD