Updated on October 1, 2014
Dr. Sophia Yin: A Champion for Animals
I felt shock and profound sadness upon learning that Dr. Sophia Yin passed away on the 29th of September. Hearing about the loss of a professional colleague is not all that unusual, and Dr. Yin was not a school classmate or personal friend. So, why did I experience such strong emotions in response to her death? The answer is simple. Dr. Sophia Yin was a true icon in the veterinary profession.
As a specialist in the American College of Animal Behaviorists, Dr. Yin made it her mission to enlighten as many people as possible about humane ways to bring out the best in an animal’s behavior. Watch any of her many You Tube videos and you will see a master at work. Always with patience, calmness, and a smile on her face, watch Dr. Yin as she positively changes her subject’s behavior using training techniques that are fully accessible to her viewers.
Dr. Yin was a leader at the forefront of the revolution against the deeply entrenched dominance-based approach to dog training. Thankfully, nowadays, the majority of dog trainers utilize the positive reinforcement methods taught by Dr. Yin and others.
Dr. Yin was a prolific speaker and author. One of her most popular books, Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats: Techniques for Developing Patients Who Love Their Visits, has instructed thousands, if not millions, of veterinary staff members the art of reducing their patients’ fear and anxiety in the hospital setting. What a gift!
Something I appreciated about Dr. Yin was her approachability. None of my emails or phone calls to her ever went unanswered. She was always very much present and helpful with me. When I invited her to speak about low stress handling techniques in my veterinary community, she readily scheduled a time and date.
Whether you realize it or not, through your veterinarian, dog trainer, groomer, or pet sitter your life with your pet has likely been positively impacted in some way by this wonderful veterinarian with a huge and generous heart.
Rest in peace, Dr. Sophia. You have made the world a better place.
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.