Dr. Paul Johnson awarded Starfish Award at the Pets Alive 2013 Fur Ball

The Starfish Award:
Paul Johnson DVM

pjdvmEach year Pets Alive bestows our “Starfish Award”. The “starfish” award is so named because of an old parable:

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir.”

The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “It made a difference to that one!”

We find great similarity between what we do and that ancient story. As a result, our most prestigious award each year is called The Starfish Award and is given to someone who understands and exhibits how each person can make an impact on the lives of animals, and how one person can impact thousands. Starfish recipients go far and above what is expected. They make a BIG impact for animals AND a BIG impact for Pets Alive. This year it is with great respect and appreciation that we present this year’s Starfish award to Paul Johnson, DVM.

drjohnsonDr. Johnson is a man of character and principal, with a generous heart and a kind nature. He runs his own veterinary practice full time, plus he is a volunteer at Pets Alive and many other organizations, including the Middletown Humane Society and the Port Jervis/DeerPark Humane Society. The good doctor has only two days off per week. What does he do on those days? On both of his days “off”, Dr. Johnson can be found at Pets Alive in Middletown, volunteering his services. He walks through the animal care rooms, making notes as he goes, examining and treating sick animals, giving vaccinations. He treats each animal with kindness and compassion. He compliments the things we are doing well, and makes recommendations when he sees something we could do better. He offers advice and help as needed, and always with a positive attitude and kind manner.

In his practice, Dr. Johnson can always be counted on to squeeze our emergency animals into his busy schedule at a moments notice – and he offers us a discount on all of his veterinary services! Dr. Johnson has taken elderly dogs back to his office and given them laser therapy to ease their arthritis and aches and pains, and many of our dogs and horses have benefited from Dr. Johnson’s chiropractic treatments.

pauljohnsonIn addition to giving so generously of his time and expertise to the animals at Pets Alive, Dr. Johnson stood side by side with us throughout the year as we fought battles in defense of animals. At a local town meeting, Pets Alive fought a proposed ban on feeding stray and feral cats. Dr. Johnson not only showed up at the meeting, but stood up and spoke in defense of feral cats. When Pets Alive offered to help the town by managing a trap/neuter/return (TNR) program for these cats, Dr. Johnson stepped up and altered the first 50 cats completely free of charge! To date, we have trapped and altered over 125 cats for the City of Middletown and Town of Wallkill. Dr. Johnson continues to alter all the feral cats at a huge discount, and we suspect he doesn’t make any profit at all from these surgeries.
Dr. Johnson voluntarily gave us his cell phone number (no really!) , and you can’t even begin to imagine how often we text him at all hours of the day or night to ask for help or advice about an animal! Dr. Johnson has never once let us down. He is ALWAYS there for us. He has NEVER turned us away. He has gone far and above what is expected. He has made a BIG impact on animals and a BIG impact on Pets Alive.

For that, and for all you continue to do for us all, we commend you Dr. Johnson. We respect you, we appreciate you….and we give to you the only thing we can give you. Our gratitude and our highest award.

Filed in Tributes by kerry on Jun 04, 2013.  There are No Comments

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