Tuesday, April 12, 2022

In Memory of Dr. Richard Bachman

Animal Welfare and Shelter Medicine lost a pioneer this year, and we lost a dear friend and colleague. It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the news of Dr. Bachman’s passing.

Dr. B (as we always addressed him) joined the Napa Humane team in 2013 as our Lead Veterinarian, with the goal of helping us expand our medical program. He was always energized by out-of-the-box thinking, and creating something out of nothing seemed to be his specialty.

One of his many passions was expanding the field of shelter medicine and mentoring aspiring veterinarians and Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs). As such, Dr. B introduced Napa Humane to many Veterinarians and RVTs and we built up a robust relief roster to better cover employee vacations and absences without having to cut back on our surgery schedule. Our mission and work depend on highly skilled Veterinarians and RVTs, but the nationwide Veterinarian and RVT shortage is reaching a crisis situation. While many clinics and hospitals are closing due to staffing shortages, Napa Humane is still going strong – thanks to Dr. B. We will forever be grateful to him for sharing his connections with Napa Humane and strengthening our Clinic.

A few years back he came to me and told me it was time for him to move on, because Napa Humane was a “well-oiled machine” and he felt that his skills were needed in Lake County, where they had no shelter veterinarian. Even after he had left Napa Humane, however, Dr. B continued to volunteer his time at our weekend Wellness Clinics, which aim to support our underserved, low-income, Spanish-speaking community. Just recently, he and I also talked about how he might help us create a program to encourage more people to become RVTs. I am crushed that he will not continue to be a part of the discussion as we continue down that path.

Dr. B devoted his life’s work to animals, and his impact has been significant. Napa County and many surrounding communities have benefited from his generous help, wise guidance, and unwavering support. His passing is truly a loss to the veterinary community, as well as all of us.

Everyone who knew Dr. B. is grieving his loss. I send my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones. You can read Dr. Bachman’s Legacy here.

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