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Late Greenville veterinarian receives posthumous honors
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The late Dr. Richard Griffin received the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association's top honor during their recent winter meeting in Starkville.
Griffin, who practiced in Greenville for more than two decades, died in May 2003 at age 48 from injuries he received in a traffic accident as he was driving to Leland to treat a sick animal. MVMA named him their veterinarian of the year for his outstanding service in the field of veterinary medicine.
After graduating in 1980 from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Griffin returned to his home state to join Dr. Clair Allen's practice in Greenville, which he had worked in during his college years. Prior to his death, community members and the staff of Allen & Griffin Animal Clinic designated him an "Angel Among Us."
"Dr. Griffin lived as an example of what every veterinary practitioner should be: gifted both in his skills and love for animals and people," said MVMA President Richard Hopper.
Hopper, associate professor with Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said Griffin was an avid wildlife enthusiast and active in several community organizations.
"Dr. Griffin was active in MSU's externship program, which provides students with hands-on experience in veterinary clinics. His love for veterinary education was valuable to students, faculty and future clients of our graduates," Hopper said. "He truly led our profession by example."
Dr. Bob Watson of Brookhaven, MVMA's young veterinarian of the year in 2004, was one veterinarian who gained from Griffin's help. Watson practiced at Allen & Griffin in his first years out of college. His experience there helped prepare Watson for his career in private practice.
"He was one of the most generous people I've ever known. Dr. Griffin was involved with the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Special Olympics, Kiwanis and so many other organizations. He taught me the importance of being active in your community," Watson said. "As a veterinarian, he was one of the best surgeons I've had the privilege to work with. He was never afraid to admit when he didn't know an answer, but he would always promise to find it."
Watson credits Griffin and Allen both with teaching him special skills when working with people as well as animals.
Contact: Dr. Richard Hopper, (662) 325-2194