2004 Dr. Donal B. McKeown, DVM ‘58 | Alumni | University of Guelph

2004 Dr. Donal B. McKeown, DVM ‘58

Judy Maddren

Dr. Donal B. McKeown
DVM ‘58

A 1958 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, Dr. Donal McKeown has been a role model, an industry leader and a mentor to veterinarians and pet owners across North America. He began his career in a mixed veterinary practice in Waterloo, Ontario. Within a year, he moved to Washington, D.C. and became a partner, co-owner and chief surgeon at the prestigious Friendship Animal Hospital. During this time, Dr. McKeown developed new orthopaedic techniques for canines, cared for the pets of two U.S. presidents and later became president of the Washington, D.C. Veterinary Academy. In recognition of his dedicated service, the academy awarded him with an honorary membership.

In 1974, McKeown and his family moved back to Ontario, and he accepted a faculty position in OVC's Department of Clinical Studies. The surgeon's interest in animal behaviour led him to a new position as OVC's first director of ethology. He joined the Department of Population Medicine, and over the next few years, took the fledgling specialty of animal behaviour and developed it into an important aspect of veterinary medicine.

Dr. McKeown has remained an active participant in the veterinary industry. He established the Fergus Veterinary Hospital in his community, and was one of the founders and vice-president of Veterinary Medical Diets, a pet food company based in Guelph. He also founded three other companies- one that tests veterinary drugs for pharmaceutical companies, another that tests dog and cat foods for the pet food industry, and a third that promotes dog training and manufactures the “Gentle Leader” line of products. Today, he continues to work as consultant to numerous canine units dedicated to police work and rescue services.

Dr. McKeown is well known for his leadership as an early president of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. He was named Ontario Veterinarian of the Year in 1989 in recognition of his volunteer service, his teaching career and his contributions to veterinary public relations.

Aside from the veterinary field, McKeown is an avid community supporter and involved with Fergus Rotary Club and recently a major funding campaign for the Groves Memorial Community Hospital. Last June, the University of Guelph Alumni Association was proud to present him with the 2004 Alumnus of Honour Award for his achievements.


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