Kihei Veterinarian Dr. Diane Shepherd was recently named president-elect of the Hawai'i Veterinary Medical Association (HVMA)--a well-deserved honor, since Dr. Shepherd is a committed servant to the care and well-being of all animals. Her vision to "relieve animal suffering" fits perfectly with her new position.
"Part of our mission at HVMA is to assist all veterinarians in improving and protecting animal well-being and public health by elevating the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in the veterinary profession," Dr. Shepherd said. "We also educate the public in treating disease and injuries of all domestic animals and teach about the prevention of cruelty to animals."
After graduating from Punahou School, Dr. Shepherd attended Stanford University, earning a Bachelor's Degree with Distinction. Her veterinary education was at Washington State University, where she graduated cum laude in 1978. She then completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Cornell University.
Dr. Shepherd owns four cats and Matilda, her Yorkshire-Dachshund mix, who serves as a faithful assistant in the clinic.
Photo: Cindy Schumacher
Following eight years as the staff veterinarian for the Maui Humane Society (MHS), Dr. Shepherd opened her private practice, Shepherd Veterinary Clinic in Kihei.
"My mom, Shirley, was president of MHS and instrumental in getting the new building put up in the late '80s," said Dr. Shepherd, who brought those eight years of experience into her office.
Shepherd Veterinary Clinic has served the Kihei area since 1997 with quality healthcare for Maui's pets.
"Timely health examinations, including good dental care and x-rays, are more important than ever," Dr. Shepherd said. "Many conditions can be treated or cured if caught in the early stages."
Dr. Shepherd stresses that fraudulent veterinary drugs offered over the Internet or through some stores have become a major problem. Most drug manufacturers now guarantee their flea and heartworm medications only if they have been purchased directly from a veterinarian.
"Our in-house laboratory helps us provide clients with fast, accurate results at the point of care, making our practice all the more efficient," she said. While the clinic performs all types of surgery, spaying and neutering are the most common, and help to keep Maui's animal population under control.
Shepherd's Veterinary Clinic employs two assistants--Brittany Byerly and Glenda Grooms.
"At 15 I began volunteering at MHS," said Byerly. "This is where I learned to care for many of Maui's orphaned animals," she said.
"Over the past nine years of working at the Shepherd Veterinary Clinic, my knowledge and love of animals has continued to grow," said Byerly. "Not only do I have the opportunity to work with a wonderful and compassionate doctor, but she has also been an incredible mentor."
Grooms has been a veterinary assistant since 1997. "I have always had a special place in my heart for animals," she said. "Working with Dr. Shepherd has given me the opportunity to learn and apply new skills that ensure high-quality care for the animals that enter the clinic. I regularly attend continuing education courses to gain new knowledge to provide clients with up-to-date information and to better assist Dr. Shepherd."
Dr. Shepherd has hundreds of happy, healthy, human, furry and feathered clients who speak to her loving commitment to the animal kingdom.
"Dr. Shepherd has provided compassionate care for our beloved cats from their rambunctious extended kitten-hoods through their more reflective geriatric years," said Kihei resident Kim Luu. "One of our felines survived for many years, despite being FIV-positive, due to Dr. Shepherd's consummate professionalism when it comes to researching new treatments and educating owners," she said.
"Dr. Shepherd has been the veterinarian for my dogs and cats for 13 years," said Kihei resident Janet Smith. "When compassion is called for, her loving manner is a source of great comfort, and when a cure is available, the issue is resolved," Smith said. "Her knowledge is superior Maui is so blessed to have her!"
"When Louise, one of my two ducks, took ill, I called many veterinarians and kept getting the same response: 'We don't take ducks,'" said Maui Weekly editor Debra Lordan. "However, when I reached Shepherd Veterinary Clinic, we found help immediately."
"Louise had botulism, suffering from a toxin that produced what we call limber-neck disease," said Dr. Shepherd. "We tube-fed her for several days until the toxin was out of her system and she was back to normal, soon reuniting with her pal, Thelma, in Debra's backyard."
Dr. Shepherd's wide-ranging interests also include snorkeling, diving and music. She is currently serving as president of the Maui Classical Music Festival, which brings world-renowned musicians into the community with programs from the Baroque period to 20th century works.
Whether Dr. Shepherd is enriching Maui's community with the highest quality chamber music, scuba diving or caring for our island's pets, she is 100 percent committed to all her efforts.
For more information, call (808) 874-9372 or visit ShepherdVeterinaryClinic.com.