About Pet Connection
A breed apart! Written by a team of pet-care experts headed by "The Dr. Oz Show" veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker and award-winning journalist Kim Campbell Thornton, Pet Connection provides pet owners with stories they love and information they need. The pair is joined by professional dog trainer and behavior consultant Mikkel Becker, providing a column full of human-interest stories as well as answers to pressing questions about life with pets.
Dr. Marty Becker
Dr. Marty Becker, "America’s Veterinarian," has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them.
Dr. Becker was the resident veterinary contributor on "Good Morning America" for 17 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association as well as its Chief Veterinary Correspondent, a founding member of Core Team Oz for "The Dr. Oz Show," and a member of the Dr. Oz Medical Advisory Panel.
He has written 22 books that have sold more than 7 million copies, including three New York Times best-sellers -- one of which is the fastest-selling pet book of all time, "Chicken Soup for the Pet-Lovers Soul." He has been a contributor to Parade magazine, Reader's Digest and AARP.com. Animal Radio hosts him monthly as their Chief Veterinary Correspondent.
Dr. Becker is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and also at the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at both Colorado State University and the University of Missouri. Additionally, he has lectured at every veterinary school in the United States.
A passionate advocate for the human-animal bond, Dr. Becker serves as an adjunct professor at the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine. He is an honorary board member of Pet Partners and the Humane Society of New York, as well as a past board member and strong supporter of his local pet rescue group, Second Chance Animal Adoption of Bonner Ferry, ID, as well as a supporter of the Panhandle Animal Shelter in Sandpoint, ID, the Kootenai Humane Society in Coeur d'Alene, ID, and the Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman, WA.
Dr. Becker also serves as the Chief Veterinary Correspondent for the American Humane Association, with a strong focus on supporting their efforts to end the use of gas chambers in animal shelters, a cause for which he has successfully advocated since his earliest days as a veterinarian. His special fondness for older pets has led him to a spot on the Advisory Board of The Grey Muzzle Organization, which is dedicated to helping homeless senior dogs. He also serves on the Advisory Board of World Vets, which brings veterinary care to pets in need all over the globe.
He practices at Lakewood Animal Hospital and North Idaho Animal Hospital in north Idaho because he loves veterinary medicine, pets and the people who care for them.
Kim Campbell Thornton
Kim Campbell Thornton has been writing about dogs, cats, birds and wildlife for more than 25 years. She began her career as an editorial assistant at Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy magazines, quickly rising up the ranks and holding the position as editor of Dog Fancy until 1996. In the same year, Thornton authored the book “Your Aging Cat” - her first of more than 20 books - and decided to make writing her full-time career.
Regarded as an expert in the field, Thornton's articles appear in many pet and veterinary publications, as well as on MSNBC.com and many other pet-related websites. With notable topics including genetic discoveries in veterinary medicine, curbing pet obesity and rituals and memorials after a pet's death, Thornton's work has won multiple awards, including the 2006 Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award.
Thornton has written or contributed to a number of books about cats and dogs, including the 2010 "Careers With Dogs," and Dr. Marty Becker's "Your Dog: The Owner's Manual" and "Your Cat: The Owner's Manual." Thornton has also served as president and vice president of the Cat Writers' Association as well as on the board of the Dog Writers' Association of America.
An avid traveler, Thornton has expanded her writing to include coverage of the big cats and wild dogs she has been fortunate to encounter on trips to Africa and Brazil.
Mikkel Becker is the featured animal trainer on Vetstreet.com, which tallies more than 2.5 million unique visitors per month. Becker does frequent media interactions with various print and digital publications, including Parade Magazine, Woman's Day, Scholastic, Parent and Child, Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy. She also makes frequent appearances for radio and TV on various pet-related segments, and has co-authored six pet books. Becker speaks at numerous pet conferences, specializing in the topics of anxiety and fear and creating a more confident canine or cat.
Although Becker graduated from Washington State University with a communications degree, her extensive animal-related education has provided the background she needed to become a well-respected trainer. A certified professional dog trainer through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Becker graduated with honors from the San Francisco SPCA Dog Training Academy with Jean Donaldson. Becker is also a graduate of the Karen Pryor Clicker Training, along with the Purdue Dogs and Cats course with Dr. Andrew Luescher. Becker also studied at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in the school's Animal Behavior Clinic under Dr. Nicolas Dodman. Becker has trained exotic animals, specializing in primate care and training with a focus in orangutans, at Jungle Island in Miami.
As the daughter of Dr. Marty Becker, it was pretty much a given that a career working with animals would be a natural fit. Closer to home, Becker conducts group classes (puppy to adult dog) and individual training (from basic manners to deeper-rooted behavior problems, such as aggression or fear, working in conjunction with a veterinarian). She also trains cats and works with numerous behavior challenges within the home or veterinary hospital. She has also been active in the Quarter Horse show circuit, and she is a three-time Canadian National Champion in Western Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle. Bringing her work home with her comes naturally, with her dogs Bruce and Willy being loved and valued. Willy is a Delta Society-certified therapy dog.