Founder and Former Director of the International Animal Welfare Training Institute

John Madigan, DVM, MS 

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Diplomate American College of Animal Welfare

Caring for animals and improving their lives has been the life's work of IAWTI founder and former director, John Madigan.  His devotion to improving animal wellbeing led to the dean appointing him as the first Director of the International Animal Welfare Training Institute in 2008. 

Dr. Madigan has made many groundbreaking medical discoveries and has created inventions, which directly improve the lives of animals worldwide on a daily basis.  When he saw the need for a better solution for compromised horses sent to the UC Davis VMTH, he designed he designed state of the art slings using the animal’s skeletal system support.  These slings are now used to safely lift horses recovering from injury or anesthesia, and to airlift stranded horses, cows, and other large animals to safety.  He later developed a sling for down cattle that is being used on dairies to help injured cattle.

Dr. Madigan founded the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT), which has gained national attention as a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) under the Office of the Surgeon General.  He has responded to floods, fires, and other disasters in California and nationally.  Dr. Madigan develops curricula to train first responders and emergency personnel in safe and humane animal rescue, sheltering, and preparedness.

Dr. Madigan's efforts have not gone unnoticed by his veterinary colleagues.  He was honored to be the recipient of the American Veterinary Medical Association animal welfare award in 2006 and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Achievement award

in 2007.  

Dr. John Madigan is board certified in internal medicine and animal welfare. He has authored over 250 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and is the editor of two textbooks on the care of foals.

Dr. Madigan has lead the institute as the Director until his retirement in 2020.

Former Director of the International Animal Welfare Training Institute

Eric Davis

Eric Davis, DVM, MS

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Dr. Eric Davis has been the Associate Veterinarian of the International Animal Welfare Training Institute since its inception. He has lead the cause of animal welfare to underserved communities for many years.

Dr. Davis is board-certified in veterinary surgery and internal medicine. He is an experienced large animal clinician, having served on the staff of the veterinary schools at Iowa State University, Purdue University, and the University of Tennessee. After founding Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS), he directed this program for the Humane Society of the United States for 10 years. During this time, he was deployed to Louisiana during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and to Sri Lanka following the 2004 Tsunami.

Dr. Davis has provided leadership and patient care by organizing emergency animal sheltering. Dr. Davis has been the director of Rural Veterinary Experience Teaching and Service (R-VETS), volunteering in underserved communities of the western United States, Mexico and Nicaragua while mentoring veterinary students interested in rural practice. Dr. Davis leads research projects to improve the welfare of donkeys.

Dr. Davis is the founder of the Donkey Welfare Symposium, an event that brings together donkey practitioners, donkey owners, scientists, conservationists and representatives of charities for donkeys and working equids. The event occurs yearly since 2013. 

Dr. Davis became director of IAWTI in 2020 until his retirement in 2021. He now serves in the Advisory Board of the International Animal Welfare Training Initiative.