Veterinarian Russ Gurevitch, DVM is considered by many to be as loyal and committed as the dogs he treats. “Russ is willing to do anything for Canine Companions®. He does great work and sometimes sings opera during surgery,” laughs Canine Companions Breeding Program Veterinarian Ruth Daniels, DVM. “His skills and knowledge have been invaluable. He is always there to offer his professional advice or a second opinion.”
Russ is a veterinary surgeon, owner and chief of staff of Veterinary Referral Surgical Service in California. Russ has been donating his time and resources to support Canine Companions since 1978; almost the span of our entire 43-year history.
Russ originally got involved as a donor and by volunteering his services. Then he served on the breeding committee and helped with consultations. His involvement grew over the years and he joined the National Board of Directors in 1991.
“The expansion of Canine Companions in the last few years has been astonishing. Obviously in terms of the number of graduates, but also in our efficiency,” says Russ. “We have become more effective than ever in selecting our breeder dogs thanks to our genetics tracking and research. It has cut down on a lot of the work I do, because we have few eye, hip and elbow issues.”
Canine Companions continues to advance the health and nutrition of our dogs, and supporters like Russ make that possible. “I work part time now, but because I love what I do, retirement isn’t a consideration,” says Russ. “I could do more surgeries for Canine Companions, but there isn’t much for me to do, since most of the dogs are so healthy!”
In addition to serving on the National Board of Directors, Russ is a member of Canine Companions’ research committee, helping evaluate and select research projects to advance our services as the premier assistance dog organization. He and his wife Terry are also members of the Monthly Miracle Maker program.