Dr Jean



I established my house call practice in 1992 in order to provide routine veterinary care in a home setting. This method of practice allows me to get a different perspective on the owner-pet interaction and to see how the pet lives. In many cases, the pet and owner are more relaxed about the vet visit. It’s hard to be stuffy and pedantic when you’re sitting on someone’s kitchen floor playing with the family cat or dog and covered in pet hair!

I graduated from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 and began working in a small animal hospital in the Baltimore area seeing cats and dogs and doing surgery. After a few years, I decided to start a house call practice in order to provide a service most other veterinarians do not provide. Also, it gave me a chance to be my own boss.

Veterinary medicine is a second career for me. I began my working career as an English teacher in Baltimore County secondary schools. After teaching for eight years, I decided that public school teaching was not a good fit for me. My husband Larry and I became involved in breeding and showing Siamese cats. Then I became more interested in the genetics and health issues of Siamese cats and cats in general and less interested in breeding to a standard, so, with lots of encouragement from Larry, I started back to school to get the courses necessary to enter veterinary school.

For much of the time between teaching and entering veterinary school, I was actively involved in various education projects about cats. Through the Maryland Feline Society, Inc, I designed 4-H cat projects, taught cat care courses in the adult continuing education system, planned and participated in various cat health seminars, gave programs on cat health, care, and behavior at monthly meetings, and wrote many articles on cat welfare, health, and behavior. My articles have been published in CATS Magazine, ALL CATS Magazine, and the Towson Times. In addition, I have taught cat behavior workshops for animal control workers. I have appeared on television on several occasions to highlight the cat overpopulation problem. I have spoken at the World of Pets Expo several times on the subject of cats that miss the litter pan. So my teacher training has not been wasted!

I also have been very active in recent trap-neuter-return (TNR) initiatives for feral cats (cats born in the wild) on Smith Island and in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. I have altered hundreds of cats as a volunteer in these clinics. (See http://www.mdfelinesociety.org/ – Smith Island Report for details of the first of these projects.) In 2004, I was awarded the “Good Doctor Award” from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) for my work in organizing and implementing the Smith Island Feral Cat Project.

I maintain a cat information website at www.catchatter.info as well. Visit this site for information on cats that miss the litter pan, how to deal with your cat’s claws, letting your cat outdoors, and other aspects of cat ownership.

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© Jean Townsend VMD 2008
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