ALFRED, NY, May 2016 – Dr. Susan Kelleher, a 1991 alumna of Alfred University (AU), also known as “Dr. K” from the National Geographic television series “Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER,” will deliver the keynote address for the University 2016 Commencement exercises Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. in the McLane Center on campus.
The University will bestow an honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa, degree on Kelleher, owner of Broward Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital, Deerfield, FL, in recognition of her service and dedication to her profession and loyalty to her alma mater.
The 2016 Commencement festivities will mark the final official activity for Dr. Charles M. Edmondson, AU president, who is retiring June 30. Edmondson will preside throughout the program.
Kelleher, an avian and exotic animal veterinarian, has been practicing since 1995 following her graduation from the University of Tennessee’s veterinary medicine program.
Not only does she have her own practice and reality show, but she donates her unique experience and expertise to a number of wildlife facilities throughout Florida, including the South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale, where she has been a volunteer for 14 years. She works closely with Dr. Renata Schneider, the director of wildlife rehabilitation, who was Dr. K’s first intern in 2002. At Butterfly World in Pompano Beach, where she has been a volunteer for 17 years, Kelleher serves as the official avian veterinarian.
Kelleher is originally from Buffalo and knew growing up that she wanted to be a veterinarian. As a high school student and throughout her years at AU, she volunteered extensively at the Buffalo Zoo. As a veterinary student, she gained experience working at Clinch River Raptor Center as a weekend volunteer. After graduating from veterinary school, Kelleher spent two months in San Diego under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Jenkins in his private practice devoted solely to the care of avian and exotic pets. Relocating to South Florida, she worked in small animal practices for four years before opening her own practice, pursuing her passion for avian and exotic pets.
Highly regarded in her field, Kelleher has published many articles, written chapters, and lectured at meetings extensively throughout the United States and England on avian and exotic animal medicine. Today she is one of the few exotic animal veterinarians using laser therapy extensively to treat a variety of conditions in her avian and exotic pets and wildlife.
Kelleher lives in Loxahatchee, FL, with her husband, three children, a cat, a 110-pound African Spur Thigh tortoise, macaw, three dogs, two box turtles and a parakeet.