Julie K. Levy, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Julie K. Levy, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Professor of Small Animal Clinical Sciences

College of Veterinary Medicine

2017 Awardee

Julie Levy’s research and clinical interests center on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases and humane alternatives for cat population control.

Specifically, Levy has performed long-term studies of contraceptive vaccines for cats. Her work has resulted in the development of new standards of ethical care for free-roaming animals, utilizing nonsurgical contraception methods in conjunction with large-scale animal sterilization programs and population modeling to understand population dynamics.

“My current passion pertains to evaluating the efficacy and costs of traditional surgical sterilization of dogs and cats compared with nonsurgical alternatives,” Levy said. “These may have broader applications, especially in a developing world where resources are scarce and the negative impacts of free-roaming animal populations threaten the well-being of communities.”

She is the founder of Operation Catnip, a nonprofit university-based community cat spay/neuter program that has sterilized more than 50,000 cats in the Gainesville area since 1998. This program forms the basis for research on free-roaming community cat issues, including infectious diseases, caregiver characteristics, population dynamics, and anesthesia protocols.

Her research has also addressed the intersection of these populations with the issue of animal conservation and potential infectious diseases.

As of 2017, Levy has published more than 130 journal articles, 18 textbook chapters, 11 monographs and 99 abstracts on different approaches to humane animal population management programs. She has been inducted into the National Academies of Practice and received the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Meritorious Service Award.