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Dr. Bess J. Pierce is an Associate Professor at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine where she teaches small animal internal medicine, sports medicine and human animal bond subjects. She is particularly interested in the impact and utilization of animal assisted activities in military and law enforcement settings. Prior to her recent position at LMU, Dr. Pierce spent nine years at VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine, where she developed the Community Practice service in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, served as Director of the Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR), and finished with a position in the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.

Also serving more than 24 years in the US Army Veterinary Corps both in the active duty and reserve components, Dr. Pierce has been assigned worldwide including California, two tours in Japan and several years at the Military Working Dog Center in Texas. She is currently a colonel in the US Army Reserve, assigned to Public Health Command Europe located in Germany.

Dr. Pierce earned a BS in biology from Tulane University in 1986, an MZS in wildlife biology in 1990 and a DVM from Auburn University in 1992. She is board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Her honors include five US Army Meritorious Service Medals, the Order of Military Medical Merit, and the 2015 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award given by the American Veterinary Medical Association for achievements in the field of human animal bond service, research and education. She enjoys spending time with her veterinarian husband and 2 dogs traveling, hiking and kayaking.