Deadline extended for International Canine Veterinary Awards

5 February 2024

Veterinary professionals, scientists, students and researchers working to help dogs, have a final chance to nominate themselves, or a colleague, for the world’s largest international awards recognising excellence in canine research, health and welfare.

Organised by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and underwritten by a major gift from the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation, the International Canine Health Awards have five award categories open for individuals to nominate themselves, or a colleague, who can demonstrate the values of the awards and display excellence in their work to advance canine health.

The renowned awards are intended to inspire and support scientific innovation to improve the lives of dogs through generous prize money of over $180,000.

All nominations must be submitted before the extended deadline of 29 February 2024 by completing the application form on The Kennel Club Charitable Trust website.

The independent and international panel of judges, with expertise across a range of research sectors, will be particularly seeking to reward applications of individuals that demonstrate a commitment to the unifying One-Health approach, for the benefit of both humans and dogs.

The five awards now open for entries are as follows:

  • The Alan Kelly International Award – for outstanding contributions in the field of canine health and welfare, with a prize of $100,000 towards future projects. The award will be presented to an individual currently involved in world-class innovation, but with more still to contribute. The award is named in tribute to the late Dr Alan Kelly, a prominent figure in the veterinary sector and first chair of the International Canine Health Awards judging panel.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – with a $50,000 prize, this award will go to a veterinarian or scientist who has dedicated much of their career to advancing the health and welfare of dogs. The award will be presented to an individual in the later stages of their career or retired and who has made a significant lifetime impact to benefit canine health and welfare on the world stage.
  • Two Student Inspiration Awards – the Postgraduate and Undergraduate awards, with prize funds of $20,000 and $10,000 respectively, are designed to aid further education costs, the development of careers, or the creation/continuation of a project. The awards will be presented to extraordinary students studying at a registered veterinary school who demonstrate the potential to significantly advance the frontiers of veterinary medicine and research to benefit dogs. Postgraduate applicants must be within five years of receiving their first degree.
  • UK Breed Health Co-ordinator Award – with a £5,000 prize fund, judges will be looking for individuals from UK Kennel Club breed clubs or councils who have demonstrated a dedication to supporting health and welfare within their breed over the previous year. Some of the aspects that will be considered include starting or coordinating a new project or resource for the breed, such as a health website or health survey, and good communication with The Kennel Club and other key stakeholders

Dr Andrew Higgins, Chairman of the International Canine Health Awards panel and trustee of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust which runs the awards, said: “We are proud to be opening nominations for the prestigious International Canine Health awards once again. The incredible support by the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation, which saw the award prize money doubled last year, has enabled these awards to run for over a decade and make truly pioneering changes in canine health and research across the world.

“As one of the largest veterinary awards in the world, the standard of nominations is always incredibly high and our winners demonstrate the highest level of excellence and dedication to improving canine health. This year our judging panel are keen to see applicants that have shown commitment to the One Health concept.”

Vernon Hill, and his wife Shirley, whose major gift underwrites the awards, said: “I am pleased that our Foundation is continuing to support these world-renowned awards which have been making such a significant contribution to the improvement of dogs’ lives all over the world.

“As one of the largest international veterinary awards in the world we are keen to keep increasing our impact across the globe and our continually growing focus on the One Health concept is to ensure our winners’ work benefits both human and canine health in tandem.”

The 2023 awards ceremony can be viewed on The Kennel Club Charitable Trust website here; the recipients were:

  • Dr Douglas Thamm, Colorado State University, winner of the Alan Kelly International Achievement Award, for his pioneering work in canine oncology and innovative clinical trials researching B-cell lymphoma;
  • Professor Franck Forterre, University of Bern, Switzerland, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, an esteemed neurosurgeon, teacher and clinician who carries out many social projects championing canine health and welfare;
  • Dr Maurice Karani, from Nairobi, Kenya, winner of the Postgraduate Student Inspiration Award, who is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Liverpool and is passionate about increasing education and knowledge of rabies control for those in marginalised communities;
  • Alice Diana, winner of the Undergraduate Student Inspiration Award, who is currently studying at the University of Padua, Italy, and researching into antimicrobial misuse in canine breeding to understand factors contributing to antibiotic resistance;
  • Dr Maura Lyons, winner of the Breed Health Co-ordinator Award, for her role in improving the health and welfare of Irish Wolfhounds through spearheading research and awareness of vital health schemes;
  • And for 2023 a Special Award and additional donation from The Kennel Club Charitable Trust was awarded to three veterinary clinics in Ukraine in the cities of Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia for their lifesaving work throughout devastating conditions created by war.

Further information and nomination forms for the 2024 awards can be found on The Kennel Club Charitable Trust website at All nomination forms must be completed and submitted by 29 February 2024.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact The Kennel Club via